|EU delegation Kenya message at KTF open day|
Date: 14 Apr 10
Counsellor Ibrahim Laafia's address:
I'd like first to convey the apologies of my head of Delegation Mr Eric van der Linden, who wishes you a fruitful open day and successful deliberations.
It's my great pleasure to represent the EU Delegation in your meeting which without doubt will tackle important issues for the development and sustainability of tourism in Kenya. I see in today's agenda crucial topics such as the Coast Tourism and Management program and the Masai Mara reserve management. These are two major topics for improving the services and a necessary condition for attracting tourists in the traditional products which are Safari and beach.
However, Kenya has a lot more to offer in terms of products and destinations from ecotourism, trekking, culture and more. As you may know the EU has been very supportive to the tourism industry and supported from the beginning projects and programmes to allow for a diversification of the Kenya product. More than 1.2 billion shillings were devoted to this particular emphasis through the various interventions of the Tourism Trust Fund. This programme came to and end in 2008 and we believe that a solid ground has been built to continue such kind of support with a strong institutional set up.
The EU is still committed with Kenya tourism and we are proud to be associated in the efforts to make the industry recovering from the terrible shock resulting from the mayhem post 2007 elections. The EU designed with a lot of care and caution specific programmes to recover from the low turn out:
1) The Global advertising campaign (Ksh 310 million). I suppose all of you have enjoyed the professionalism of the work during the promotion of Kenya through CNN and currently through BBC World News. The EU has supported KTB in ensuring the realisation of a high quality product that is willing to attract the international viewership. I'd like just to mention that the CNN campaign and TV spot has received the 3rd price in ITB of the best Tourism TV campaigns.
We wanted to give more and therefore we believe that the new ongoing campaign is of much better quality and will undoubtedly attract additional tourists.
2) The second involvement to recover from the PEV is through an advertising campaign in 7 source markets (DE, UL, FR, IT) USA, India and South Africa. The add strategy was developed by Scanad and is called Jambo. The EU has invested 300 million shillings to allow for the development of the strategy and its implementation in 2010.
The EU has also supported in the past the renovation of the Nairobi Museum with a funding of Ksh 800 million. We were sad to see that the wonderful gate of the museum has been destroyed to allow for the expansion of the road. This shows the lack of coordination between government departments and lack of proper planning.
As mentioned by Mrs Lucy Karume, the access to parks and reserves remain problematic. Therefore the EU has planned in its 10th EDF funding an envelope of 5 to 6 million euro to improve access to Aberdare and Mount Kenya parks as well as the opening of Tsavo North through the construction of a bridge on the Galana River.
The EU will remain committed towards tourism sector and tourism actors and operators. I wish you a fruitful and successful open day