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By MOHAMED AHMED
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By FADHILI FREDRICK
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Ten national parks will be rebranded to help drive up tourist numbers.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said they want the experience to go beyond the allure of watching wild animals.

“We do not want to have tourists only going to watch animals in the parks. That is not enough. We need to amplify our parks and what we are going to do, mainly, is to improve experiences there,” Mr Balala said.

The parks include Shimba Hills, Tsavo East National Park, Amboseli National Park, Nairobi National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Aberdare National Park, Sibiloi National Park and Meru National Park.

The Kenya Wildlife Service is assessing areas that need revamping.

“We met with the officers in December and we are to meet again mid-March to see the report so that we can move our plans forward,” said Mr Balala in an interview with journalists at Neptune Hotel during the Coast Tourism Stakeholders Summit.

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In addition, he said Diani, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi and Watamu will also be rebranded.

He urged tourism players to work on repackaging the Coast as a favourite destination by focusing on product development.

“The private sector has a role to play to integrate local communities, accommodate and support them on small and medium-sized enterprises and make them part and parcel of the hotels,” he said.

Some of the countries he cited that are marketing their tourism hubs are Morocco (Marrakesh), South Africa (Cape Town), Mexico and Tanzania (Zanzibar).

In 2018, Kenya got two million arrivals, which was equivalent to more than 1.5 billion dollars.

Kenya Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Betty Radier said places like Lamu could be East Africa’s prime destination spots for tourists who want to slow down and experience culture, quality life and tranquillity.



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