Kenya to leverage motorsport to boost tourism
Kenya’s tourism marketing body said on Monday it plans to leverage the global appeal of motorsport to boost the local tourism sector.
Betty Radier, chief executive of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), said motorsport events such as the East Africa Classic Rally to be held February 10-19 are important as they enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of a destination.
“Due to the miles and routes traveled in the destination, motorsport emphasizes the attractions and allows visitors and potential travelers to get a glimpse of the destinations’ offerings,” Radier said in a statement to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
The rally is expected to travel approximately 5,000 km through 11 counties and over 360 towns in Kenya, with a focus on attractions in these regions.
Radier said the rally revives the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put Kenya and East Africa on the global motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the toughest rally in the world.
KTB will activate and leverage global coverage during the event to showcase Kenya’s preparedness and increase destination awareness among travelers whose travel plans have been hampered by travel restrictions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Motorsport in Kenya began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the East African Coronation Rally in 1953 as a motoring event to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who had vacationed safari at Aberdare National Park in Nyeri.
Kenya hosted the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2021 after a 19-year hiatus.
The event offered the destination the opportunity to leverage its global coverage to showcase Kenya’s preparedness.
The event was televised to over 850 million viewers over its 14 rounds with a total of 13,452 scheduled broadcast hours.
The February rally will see the participation of around 50 crews comprised of Kenyans as well as international participants from Europe, Asia and America, providing an opportunity to profile Kenya in these source markets.