Kenya has tapped British supermodel Naomi Campbell to market the country as a top tourism destination, in efforts to boost recovery of the sector which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Campbell, who has been in Kenya for holidays since December, met with Tourism secretary Najib Balala at the weekend where they agreed on the appointment.
“We welcome the exciting news that Naomi Campbell will advocate for tourism and travel internationally for the Magical Kenya Brand,” Mr Balala said in the announcement on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old model, who is also an actress and businesswoman, has a large social media following of over 13 million on her channels.
Ms Campbell has lauded the improvement of infrastructure at the Coast particularly the upgrading of the airport in Malindi.
“I am also impressed with the world-class standard facilities at the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Baobab course located in Vipingo Ridge, the only golf course credited by the PGA in the whole of Africa. I invite gold professionals globally to visit the course to enjoy the experience,” she is quoted saying in the statement.
The model, on her third trip to Kenya, spent her holidays residing at the exclusive Billionaire Resort, a luxury serviced apartment hotel in Malindi, common with high-end travellers.
During her last visit in the country, she caused quite a buzz when she posed nude in Malindi’s exotic spots. Speaking to Vogue, she revealed that nude photography was a long time coming.
Her previous visit in 2014 was over the Christmas holidays in Malindi when she also took part in a charity event.
International arrivals fell 72 percent in the 10 months to October last year, highlighting the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease on the tourism sector.
This translated to a loss of revenue amounting to Sh110 billion during the period which led to massive losses job losses in the sector that was one of the most affected by the freeze on international travel between March and July.
Tourism began its gradual return to activities in August with the resumption of international and domestic flights.