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Economy

Yellow Fever new tourism board’s marketing focus

Dr Shahnaz Shariff, the Director of Public Health and Sanitation, during the launch of the Yellow Fever risk assessment survey in Nairobi last week. Photo/SALATON NJAU
Dr Shahnaz Shariff, the Director of Public Health and Sanitation, during the launch of the Yellow Fever risk assessment survey in Nairobi last week. Photo/SALATON NJAU 

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is gearing to market the country as a Yellow Fever-free destination to attract tourists from countries which had issued travel advisories based on WHO reports on the prevalence of the disease in the country.

The board is confident that findings of a survey to be conducted by the Ministry of Health will give the country a clean bill of health.

This came as new economic data indicated the number of visitors in the first quarter of 2013 dropped by a third partly because of the elections.

The number of visitors arriving through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport declined 34.8 per cent to 73,001 people in February 2013.

“The country last experienced a Yellow Fever outbreak close to 20 years ago but the international community still perceives Kenya as prone to it,”KTB regional marketing manager Betty Ichan told the Business Daily.

Kenyans have been subjected to demands for a Yellow fever certificate in countries like South Africa, Tanzania, and West Africa states. Ms Ichan said that KTB forecast a 50 per cent growth in the number of tourists, especially from Asia after the survey.

Over 130,000 visitors from Asia travelled to Kenya last year with the bulk, 60,000, drawn from India.

The board said that the number could be higher had it not been for travel advisories which required tourists to be vaccinated against Yellow fever.

This has seen tourists choose Tanzania and Uganda over Kenya since the two are cleared by the WHO. The UN body has classified Kenya as highly prone to the disease.

KTB will host the bi-annual World Travel Awards on October 16 putting it in the league of South Africa as the only other African country to hold the event.

Ms Ichan said that Kenya was chosen to host the event on the back of last year’s performance in which KTB topped Africa in the tourism category.

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