As somebody who lives outside Africa, what is the first thing that crosses your mind when you see a picture of a pride of lions, or the wildebeest migration? If you know your geography right, then the country Kenya will probably be among the first African countries that cross your mind.
As somebody born and bred inside Kenya, looking at the same pictures. The first thing that crosses your mind is, ‘This is something wazungu (white people) do. They are fascinated by the wildlife inside the wild, untamed jungles.’
Truth be told, more wazungu know about Kenya national parks and game reserves than the local Kenyans do. Largely this is because most local Kenyans are not that interested in visiting the parks to see wild animals and few think they can afford and/or would be willing to spend their money to visit parks.
However, the fee charged to visit parks and game reserves especially to the local tourist is within the reach of many Kenyans. Plus many Kenyans are yet to appreciate the tourism experience, as it is something that can give you a break from your daily routine and reenergize you.
In a move to boost local tourism, Africa’s leading hotel booking site Jovago.com has embarked on a social media campaign. Encouraging Kenyans to post pictures of their visits to the various tourists attractions in the country. Kenyans can share pictures and their experiences at the different tourist attractions using the hashtag #KenyaYetu ( the Swahili word for Our Kenya).
Kenya is blessed with picturesque mountains, oceans, forests and beaches among other things. In fact, over the recent years, domestic tourism has been on the rise according to stats by the Kenya Tourism Board. The trend is expected to increase by 50% come next year, but still more needs to be done regarding drumming up support for domestic tourism.
The bulk of the tourism campaign has been for the popular spots like the Maasai Mara, Nairobi and Mombasa. Kenya has a plethora of other tourist attractions that remains to be discovered by both domestic and foreign tourists.
“Kenya is a beautiful country. Kenyans should be proud of it and be its ambassadors. Don’t wait for other people to start; be the first one,” said Estelle Verdier, the MD of Jovago East Africa, during the ‘What’s Next’ discussion panel that happened in Sankara Hotel in Nairobi.
Head of Social Media at Jovago, Justyna Sniezek added: “Technology goes forward and so do social media. How many people are using their personal profiles to show Kenya to the world, and most importantly to fellow Kenyans? We all can see the same destinations being promoted by tour companies all over again; Mombasa, Nairobi and national parks. What about the rest of the country? What about us, normal people, speaking up?
So if you are a Kenyan out there in the Maasai Mara, Lake Bogoria, Mt. Elgon, Lake Victoria enjoying a picturesque moment. Share pictures on social media using the hashtag #KenyaYetu and let fellow Kenyans know just how affordable and fun touring different parts of our country can be.