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Kenya Tourism Board to market the country at Boston, London marathons

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is undertaking promotional campaigns in the United States and the United Kingdom to cement the country’s destination’s position in sports tourism ahead of the upcoming Boston and London marathons.

According to KTB’s Chief Executive June Chepkemei, the high-profile marathons have propelled Kenya into the international spotlight for sports tourism adding that the marathons present an opportunity to showcase the destination’s dominance on some of the world’s most iconic courses.

For the Boston and London marathon slated for April 15 and 21 respectively, KTB has pitched camp at the marathon Expo’s as it seeks to promote Kenya’s diverse tourism experiences besides sports.

“This year KTB will be at the marathon expos to interest marathon enthusiasts to sign up in some of the marathons hosted in Kenya like the Standard Chartered which also takes place in the city of Nairobi. This will allow them to come run with the champions and savour some of the tourism offerings Kenya is endowed with’’ said Ms Chepkemei.

KTB has also partnered with national carrier Kenya Airways and other players to extend holiday trips to Kenya for the lucky winners during stand activations at the expo booth.

The US and the UK are key source markets for Kenya’s tourism.

The two destinations also have big sports fan bases alongside a supportive diaspora base which KTB is keen on attracting.

In the review period between January and November 2023, The United States emerged as the leading source market to Kenya with a market share of 14% and a total of 241,581 arrivals.

This represented a significant 28% growth compared to the previous period last year of 188,463.

The United Kingdom also recorded a strong performance, with an 8% market share of 140,763 arrivals. This represented a 7% growth compared to the previous year’s arrivals of 131,526

Ms Chepkemei said Sports tourism has become an important niche market for Kenya, and these iconic marathons are global platforms to highlight our country as a must-visit destination for athletics enthusiasts and adventurous travellers looking for an unforgettable holiday experience

According to UN Tourism, sports tourism is a rapidly growing industry, generating around 10% of the world’s expenditure on tourism. It has an estimated growth rate of 17.5% between 2023-2030.

With Kenya aiming to welcome 5.5 million visitors annually by 2028, sports tourism provides a significant opportunity to achieve this goal and spread the economic benefits of tourism to communities across the country.

With an estimated 2 million visitors each year, Kenya is considered among the most popular tourism destinations in Africa. Most visitors are keen to sample the country’s wildlife safari and the white sandy beaches at the cost.

Besides, Kenya is arguably the country with the best middle and long distance athletes considering the results from marathons contested across the world, and at international meets such as the World Cross Country, Olympics and World Atheltics Championships.

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