Kenya To Market Tourism Sector Through Key Sports Events

Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza is received at Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort in Kilifi on Saturday Feb 4, 2023 by U.COM Event Managing Director Dirk Glittenberg during the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open. PHOTO/IMG

KILIFI, Kenya- Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will be actively leveraging key hosted international sports events to market the country locally, regionally, and internationally in 2023.

During the pandemic period of 2020-2022, KTB leveraged key hosted sports events to promote Kenya among international and domestic tourists, including the Magical Kenya Open and the Savannah Classic part of the European Tour, the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, the WRC Safari rally which came back in 2019, The Kip Keino Classic, and the East Africa Classic rally which catalyzed tourism in Kenya.

While welcoming the international players and visitors attending the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO) in Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi County, the CS for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza said that her ministry would continue to utilize opportunities that sports events present in marketing Kenya to the world.

 “Sport is a global language and we shall continue to partner with the Ministry of Sports to ensure that we showcase our magical destination to the world,” Malonza said.

She reiterated that the return of the MKLO was a testament to the growth of the sport in the country and the confidence there is in the destination.

“We are hosting golfers from various parts of the world including some of our key source markets. The diverse field is also part of the ongoing initiative to grow Kenya’s profile as a top golf tourism destination.

“Vipingo Ridge is strategically positioned which allows the visiting golfers, and spectators to visit some of the tourist locations found around the Coast and they can sample some of the experiences we have to offer. Such events are therefore a major boost for our tourism sector and we are delighted that Kenya is taking its rightful place on the world stage.”

Through such events, the destination benefits from the extensive international media coverage which puts eyeballs on the destination as well as gives an opportunity for the participants to sample the destination through excursions in different attractions.

For instance, The Magical Kenya open is transmitted to over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries, generating in excess of 2200 global broadcast hours” she added.

Malonza reaffirmed her Ministry’s commitment to partnering with the Ministry of Sports and the arts in creating a calendar of Magical Kenya sporting events that will help market Kenya as the preferred global tourism destination.

From left: KTB Ag. CEO John Chirchir, KTB Corporate Manager Wausi Walya and Tourism,Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza at Vipingo Ridge Golf in Kilifi on Saturday Feb 4, 2023.PHOTO/IMG

Kenya’s sports season begins with the MKLO held between February 2-5 at the Baobab Course, Vipingo Ridge under the auspices of the Ladies European Tour (LET).

This will be followed by the highly anticipated European-Tour (ET) sanctioned Magical Kenya Open (MKO), from 9th-12th March at Nairobi’s Muthaiga Golf Club.

The two events form part of the larger golfing season that has gained international recognition attracting players from across the globe. They will precede other international events to be held in the destination later in the year.

The KTB Ag. CEO John Chirchir says: “These tournaments have not only made Kenya a household name when it comes to great golf experience but has also introduced Kenya as a destination with exceptional travel opportunities.”

“We are confident that the events will not only help grow interest in golf tourism in Kenya but also help reaffirm global confidence in travel to Kenya.”

Golf is one of the key enablers of travel globally with the sport being prioritized as part of a wider program to drive sports tourism growth.

In 2020, the World Golf Awards named Kenya as Africa’s leading Golf Destination, beating countries such as Morocco, South Africa, and Egypt which are considered the cream of golf in Africa.

Some of the events the detitanation is expected to host in 2023 include the MKLO, Magical Kenya Open, The WRC Safari Rally, the Kip- Keino Classic among others.

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