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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Kenyans increasingly visiting other countries as tourists

Kenya flagAs Kenya’s tourism sector suffers due to persistent terror attacks and travel advisories issued by western nations, the East African nation’s residents are increasingly visiting other countries as tourists.

They leave the country in groups and travel to Middle East and Asia for sightseeing, leisure and in search of business opportunities.
Israel and China are among favourite destinations for discerning Kenyan tourists as bilateral relations between the countries and Kenya increases.
A good number of those who go to Israel are pilgrimage tourists interested in touring various biblical sites and towns.
The towns include Bethlehem, Jericho, Galilee and Jerusalem, which hosts numerous religious sites toured by Jesus as recounted in the bible.
Normally, the tourists combine the pilgrimage with search for business opportunities and visits to farms where they go to learn various agricultural technologies.
In China, Kenyan tourists similarly combine business with leisure, with destinations like Guangzhou, Beijing and Hanoi becoming attractive places for many.
The increase in the number of Kenyans travelling to the Asian tiger has made East African nation’s premier airline Kenya Airways to introduce direct flights to China in bid to satisfy the market.
“I have been to Israel and China at least twice each and still I have not gotten enough of what is in the two countries. Of the two nations, I have visited Israel most as a businessman and a religious tourist,” said John Kinyanjui in a recent interview.
The businessman was among about 150 Kenyans who travelled in three groups to Israel last week to tour the nation.
The trips were organised by commercial banks and tours and travels companies.
Kinyanjui noted that he was happy to visit the places where Jesus was born, baptised, performed miracles and crucified.
“When I first went to Israel two years ago, I was there for a trade conference and did not have time to visit the religious sites. The second time the same happened but I am happy that I have now fulfilled my wish on my third trip,” said Kinyanjui of the trip that cost over 1,914 U.S. dollars.
A tour guide working with Vered Hesharon, an Israel travel company, noted that they handle many Kenyans visiting the country.
From Africa, Nigerians and Kenyans lead the pack in the number of people visiting the country. They visit particularly in the second and last quarters of the years when the weather is the conducive, said the guide.
However, of the two nations, Nigerians lead with the number of Kenyans increasing only in recent years. The presence of citizens from the two countries in the nation is conspicuous at various religious sites where the names of their countries are written.
Caroline Gichuki, the managing director of the Nairobi-based Techfarm Tours and Travel, observed that Kenyans are increasingly embracing tourists.
However, she noted that unlike tourists from other countries, Kenyans do not enjoy leisure tourism only.
“Tourists from Europe, for instance, come to Kenya only for sightseeing, to enjoy and relax. However, Kenyans tourists do not want that. They combine business and leisure. They want to learn as they visit various tourist destinations,” she said.
Kenyan ambassador to Israel Augostino Njoroge acknowledged that the number of Kenyans visiting the nation has been on the rise.
“I have met very many Kenyan delegations coming to visit this country. You are welcome here, and as you tour, see what you can borrow from Israel and take back the technology home.”

By Bedah Mengo

Source: Xinhua

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