Initiative to market domestic tourism industry goes regional 

Tembea Tujenge Kenya

Isuzu East Africa Communications Manager Dancan Muhindi (left), Tembea Tujenge Kenya ambassador Maina Kageni (centre) and the initiative's CEO Andrew Kanyutu during the launch of TTK regional chapter. Courtesy

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Kampala to host the first location of the initiative's caravan on August 10, 2022.
  • The initiative is focused on promoting and marketing known tourist destinations.

An initiative by Kenyan firms to popularise local tourist destinations has now gone regional after its expansion to include seven East African countries.

Dubbed Tembea Tujenge Kenya (TTK), the campaign now seeks to tap into the regional domestic tourism.

The new look, Tembea Tujenge Afrika Mashariki, will see the Kampala in Uganda act as the first location of the caravan on August 10, 2022.

The next location will be in the Democratic Republic of Congo followed by Kigali in Rwanda then Tanzania, Zanzibar, Burundi and finally South Sudan.

The initiative is focused on promoting and marketing known tourist destinations as well as exposing new sites to local tourists.

TTK chief executive officer Andrew Kanyutu said they have decided to go regional in order to tap into the regional local tourism with a view to replicating a similar concept across the continent.

He pointed out that they are now looking beyond the boarders and the region is the next destination to market so as to expose it to its locals and other regions in the continent as well.

Mr Kanyutu challenged Kenyans to drop the notion that tourism is only a preserve for the wealthy or those with disposable income and firms in the tourism sector to also come up with reasonable packages affordable by most Kenyans.

“We have for a long time relied on too much on foreigners to build our tourism, it is now our time as locals to spur the growth of our domestic tourism to the next level by playing a major part in that growth,” said Mr Kanyutu during the launch of the third quarter of the campaign in Nairobi on Thursday.

Launched at the height of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, he said the initiative has led to the growth of domestic tourism in the country by breaking the reliance on seasonal tourism cycles that largely depends on foreigners.

He pointed out that TTK initiative has travelled to major tourism destinations across the country and lobbied for local tourism, a process that he said enabled revive businesses during the pandemic.

“In the first year, we turned in 36,000 beds between October 2020 and September 2021. From October 2021 to date, the numbers have hit 68,000, representing a growth of close to 200 percent,” he said.

The campaign is supported by major brands, including Isuzu East Africa, Shell/Vivo Energy, Sarova Hotels, Tourism Fund, Safaricom, Madison Insurance and St John’s Ambulance.

The programme’s ambassador, media personality Maina Kageni, said the initiative, which began as Maina Kageni road trip five years ago, has grown in leaps and bounds to be a significant contributor to the tourism sector and the country’s economy.

“In this new East African edition, we are looking at the youth to play major role as we will are looking to use youthful influencers to spread the message as we target to tap into the youth market and events,” he said.

Isuzu East Africa Communications Manager Dancan Muhindi said the firm is looking forward to exploring the new destinations.

Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSMEA) boss James Mureu challenged local businesses to emulate Israel which has been able to create interest in all tourist destinations leading to 30 million visitors annually.

“There is enough to be seen in Kenya from Turkana to Naivasha. In Australia, for example, depends majorly on domestic tourists as facilities have been packaged to cater for every group right from the bottom of the pyramid,” said Mr Mureu.

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