Corporate News

Kenya banks on celebrities to drive up tourism

Tourists alight from a cruise ship at the port of Mombasa: KTB says sponsored artistes would be at liberty to brand hospitality facilities as well as plant trees within protected game sanctuaries which would be named after them. FILE PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI
Tourists alight from a cruise ship at the port of Mombasa: KTB says sponsored artistes would be at liberty to brand hospitality facilities as well as plant trees within protected game sanctuaries which would be named after them. FILE PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI 

Kenya is forming partnerships with world-famous artistes to lure tourists keen on trailing the footsteps of their icons to the country.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chief executive Dr Betty Radier reckons that visiting celebrities are a magnet for tourists from their home countries and beyond, and have the potential to mint revenue for Kenya from ‘icon-trailing’ visitors.

She said the sponsored artistes would be at liberty to brand hospitality facilities as well as plant trees within protected game sanctuaries which would be named after them and later used to sell the attraction sites globally.

“Kenya’s potential as a destination of choice continues to be affirmed through the years with some like Richard Branson translating their visits into investments. We have a country that is appealing, we must tell our story to the world unreservedly,” said the KTB boss on Tuesday.

Marketing on social media

KTB also cited award-winning Filipino pop-rock singer Josephine "Yeng" Constantino who spent her Christmas and New Year holiday sampling Kenya's wildlife sanctuaries and coastal beaches.

It said the celebrities also posted pictures while in Kenya on their social media pages, thereby helping Kenya advertise itself to their fans.

Last year, Kenya played host to US pop icon Madonna, Chinese artiste Hu Bing and British fashion icon Victoria Beckham.

KTB said it was also targeting tourists from the region with plans to host Nigerian and Tanzanian celebrities.