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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya to harness digital tools to promote tourist destinations

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya and industry partners will harness opportunities unleashed by the digital revolution to showcase scenic attractions to local and foreign tourists, officials said on Thursday.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife, said that use of digital tools is key to tap into the rapidly growing number of young and tech-savvy travelers.

“We plan to invest heavily in the digital space to put Kenya on the world map. The new generation of tourists is using digital tools to book for a holiday destination and give feedback on their experience,” said Balala.

He spoke in Nairobi during an occasion to mark World Tourism Day whose theme was Tourism and Digital Transformation.

Balala said that adoption of new technology is key to boost growth of tourism sector amid disruptions caused by insecurity, volatile political environment and stiff competition from other African markets.

“A partnership with the ministry of ICT and industry players will enable us fast-track digitization of tourism sector with the aim of expanding outreach and generate higher revenues,” said Balala.

He added that a partnership with leading technology firms will help overseas travelers’ access information on ideal destinations.

Balala said Kenya will leverage on modern technologies to transform the tourism sector which contributes an estimated 10 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Joe Mucheru, the cabinet secretary for ICT, said that harnessing new technologies and innovations is key to raise the visibility of unexplored tourist destinations in Kenya.

Kenya records an average of 1.2 million tourist arrivals annually and the government has embarked on aggressive marketing in non-traditional markets in the Far East to boost growth of a sector that is a major source of foreign exchange earnings in the country.

           

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