Nairobi — Kenya is relying on Malaysian golfers to grow its tourism market share from the Asian market that has continued to grow in the recent past.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is bullish that the continent has all the potential to contribute to the arrivals into Kenya with KTB Chairperson Francis Gichaba disclosing a 36 percent growth in visitor number from the continent within the last seven months.
"Between January and July this year, we have received 104,764 visitors from the Asian market up from 76,977 in the same period last year, a clear indication that the market has the potential for us to tap into and grow more arrivals into the country," said the chairperson.
He added, "Malaysia in the Far East is a golf nation with great trade links.
These links are potentially useful for marketing Nairobi, which has seven golf courses.
Leveraging on the adventurous nature of Asian population packaging the available products will see growth beyond 50 percent and much more."
Gichaba made the remarks at the celebrations of the Malaysia Day marked by a Golf Game at Sigona golf club that brought together over 100 participants drawn from the diplomatic corps and business community.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Kenya Ruzami Mohamad reinforced KTB's focus on the market, adding that he will collaborate with the marketing agency to promote golf tourism, a popular sport among the Malaysians.
"The country has a unique combination. Tourists like unique things that they have not seen or experienced before. The experience in Kenya for Malaysia, South East people and Asians is different, as they must go to the zoo to see wild animals, which is different in Kenya. Wild animals here are free in the national parks and live naturally which is a great experience for the Asian people," said the High Commissioner
Golf is a big part of leisure activity enjoyed across the ages being one of the top golf destinations in South-East Asia and according to Gichaba, KTB besides other promotional activities will be riding on opportunities such as golf to grow visitation into the country.
"We know of the growing interest among Malaysians to travel across the globe for golf sport and other leisure activities. Kenya would offer a perfect combination of safari and golf sport in the offer 40 golf courses in various picturesque locations across the country thus offering golf enthusiasts a unique experience," said the chairperson.
He added that with consistent sunshine and temperate weather to nourish its courses, Kenya has curved its niche as the perfect golfing escape from the northern hemisphere.
"Moreover, most of our golf courses are within easy reach of major tourism attractions; excellent hotels and lodges with superb cuisine and service back Kenya's golf courses.
Japan ambassador to Kenya Okaniwa Ken lauded Kenya on her strides towards improving golf sport to attract international golfers who would combine their visit to the country to tour other tourism attractions.
"The country has nice and hospitable people. The climate is good all year round. The safaris and some sceneries are only found in the country and nowhere else in the world" said the ambassador.