Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a national programme seeking to equip domestic product managers and sales agents with skills to enable them sell travel experiences online.
KTB has partnered with Google, Safaricom, Marketing Society of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, Tourism Finance Corporation and KTB’s online consultant to undertake the training programme.
The programme further seeks to share insights with players in the tourism and travel sector on the current issues, tourism trends and new product developments in Kenya as a destination.
The overarching objective of the online training programme is to increase consumption of the domestic holiday product by Kenyans and those living in Kenya by demystifying tourism and encouraging domestic travel throughout the year.
According to a statement from the country’s marketing arm- KTB, the training programme will be rolled out in Nairobi, Mombasa, Naivasha, and Kisumu.
Speaking during the launch of the online training programme in Nairobi, KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier said the growth of internet in Kenya has spurred positive development in the tourism industry with consumers readily able to access the internet to search for their next holiday destination. “A big percentage of Kenyans access internet through their mobile phones providing a great opportunity for the trade to utilize these platforms to engage Kenyans with travel related content and experiences. KTB will work with the identified partners to engage players in the tourism and travel sector and show them how to utilize the internet to their advantage.” Said Dr Radier.
The KTB CEO added that the programme is among the initiatives that were crafted during the National Tourism Stakeholders Forum held in February with a view to spearheading the transformation of Kenya’s tourism industry.
This is not the forst partnership that KTB has been into. In 2017, KTB partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Utalii College (KUC), Tourism Fund (TF), and National Museum of Kenya (NMK) to undertake a training program for the key touch point persons in the tourism and travel industry in the country to demystify tourism, share with the trade the stereotypes in domestic travel and how they are barriers to local travel and inform the participants the current issues, behaviors, tourism trends and new product developments in the destination.
“Customer experience forms a critical cog of any product or service and there is a need to improve on the domestic tourist consumer promotion process and make it a seamless experience for the customers. This is why we are investing in equipping product managers and sales agents with skills that will enable them to engage consumers online in order to enable them make an informed choice on places to visit in Kenya.”
The roll-out of the online training programme comes at a time when domestic tourism is on a steady rise. A total of 4.05 million bed nights were taken up by Kenyans in 2017 compared to 3.5 million in 2016, denoting a 15.9% growth.
In the recent past, KTB has engaged in the aggressive promotion of domestic tourism in order to increase awareness as well as demand for Kenya’s tourism product offering among Kenyans.
The growth is mainly attributable to the increased investment by the Government in promoting domestic tourism through awareness campaigns that sensitise Kenyans on attractions, destinations, and experiences.