(eTN) – In another first, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Sunday received the first plane load of Korean tourists, flown into the country by Korean Airlines.
Korea, as are other Far and South Asian countries, have been identified by the Kenya Tourist Board as a potentially rich emerging market but has been lacking nonstop flights to make visits to Kenya, and East Africa for that matter, more attractive.
It is understood that talks on bilateral air services agreements are ongoing between Kenya and countries in the East to encourage the setting up of direct airlinks. The series of charters now underway will undoubtedly raise Kenya’s profile in Korea, and it is understood that Korean media will also cover the destination, which alongside hopefully rave reviews by travelers, when they get back home, will encourage more to book a vacation to Kenya.
The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Chief Executive Muriithi Ndegwa was at hand with other officials to welcome the charter flight at JKIA where he also used the opportunity to brief the media on the tourist board’s efforts to increase visitor numbers from new and emerging markets, and what measures KTB had taken in past months to make this event happen.
Presently, visitors have to use Gulf-based airlines to connect via their hubs to Nairobi or else link up with Kenya Airways’ nonstop flights from Hong Kong or Bangkok, which, however, drives the cost of the air fares up and limits a greater market penetration due to the relatively higher cost.