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DAILY NATION Tuesday February 1, 2011

17

MODEL TOWNS

TOURISM» GLOBAL MARATHONS AND CONFERENCES TO MAKE POINTS OF FOCUS

Board eyes Kenya's 50th anniversary to strike it big

Country's Golden Jubilee provides the chance to showcase what is on offer

enya turns 50 in 2013. In preparation for the country's golden jubilee celebrations Brand Kenya Board has kicked off an aggressive marketing campaign targeting up-coming events. Nearly two years to the day, the board has embarked on a drive to market the event that marks the country's freedom from British rule in 1963 locally and international, according to chief executive Mrs Mary Kimonye. The board is exploring ways of marketing existing opportunities in Kenya ahead of the Golden Jubilee celebrations through a series of events that involve sporting activities locally and internationally among others. The Boston Marathon scheduled for April 2011 in Boston, USA is one such event. Kenyans have for many years dominated the event and the board reckons it would create a lot of national pride. Considering the number of people who take part in the race every year and media exposure, Mrs Kimonye reckons the campaign would reach every corner

Cash shortage leaves setting up of resort cities in limbo

PART OF VISION 2030 PROJECTS

DEVELOPMENT of three resort cities in the country with a view to optimising the country's tourism potential has almost stalled owing to a combination of factors key among them financial constraints. Three years after the government mooted the idea under its long-term development plan Vision 2030 nothing meaningful has been achieved so far. Not even the developing of master plans for the cities and enlisting interested investors has taken off. The Ministry of Tourism, which is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the plans has expressed doubts on the projects since allocation of funds by Treasury cannot support the projects. "We were supposed to start the preparatory work of the ambitious projects immediately after the launch of the Vision (2030). Three years down the line, however, due to limited budgetary allocations, we haven't done anything this far," said Tourism minister Najib Balala. Under the Vision 2030 which seeks to transform the country into a middle-income economy in the next 20 years, the government intends to establish three resort cities at the Coast and Eastern provinces. The cities - Isiolo, Diani and Kilifi - are aimed at stimulating growth from rich tourism potential presented by various beautiful sceneries including Mt Kenya, Meru National Park, the Aberdares, Samburu National Park and the richly endowed coastline among others. While calling for more efforts in terms of mobilising resources and attracting investors, Mr Balala singled out inadequate budgetary support to formulate the feasibility studies and other preparations, which to date has not been provided. In the current 2010/11 fiscal year, Tourism ministry was allocated Sh650 million compared to Sh800 million last year. Sources in the ministry, however, intimated that Sh28 million was provided in the current financial year for consultancy purposes.

By Nation Correspondent

K

[email protected]

BY WALTER MENYA

The Brand Kenya Board will target events such as the Boston marathon to put forward Kenya's case as the place to visit

FILE | NATION

BRAND KENYA HAS PARTNERED WITH RUN WITH KENYANS INITIATIVE FOR BOSTON MARATHON IN ORDER TO START ENGAGING KENYAN DIASPORA" Mrs Mary Kimonye, Brand Kenya CEO

of the world. Brand Kenya Board is the tasked with coordinating initiatives for marketing the country nationally and internationally. "To effectively communicate the brand to the citizens and international community, we need to leverage on euphoric moments that give citizens a reason for celebration as well as bring positive acclaim to the country," said the CEO. "Brand Kenya has partnered with the "Run with Kenyans" initiative for the Boston marathon in order to start engaging Kenyan Diaspora and the international audience in the build up to Kenya's Golden Jubilee," she said. Passage of the New Constitution and its subsequent promulgation will form part of the marketing package, the Brand Kenya official said. And so will be triumphant Kenyan athletes. "As a country, we have been blessed with such moments which have ranged from the passing of the New Constitution, our winning spirit in international sporting events such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth games amongst others," says Mrs Kimonye. Other significant up-coming events include the Olympics in 2012, general elections under the new law, rugby World cup Sevens 2013 and the Golden Jubilee Celebrations itself. The board recently held a stakeholders' conference with discussions focusing on the activities that would drive the strategy to deliver once-in-alifetime celebrations. During the talks, the board looked at how different stakeholders can take advantage of upcoming opportunities. In addition, tourism which has often been a top foreign exchange earner for the country has been roped into the campaign to market Kenya during the 2012

London Olympics as well as come up with Golden Jubilee Tourism opportunities. The conference also discussed the possibility of the Central Bank of Kenya producing a 50 cent anniversary coin. The Central Bank in 2003 came up with a commemorative Sh5,000 coin to mark 40 years of independence. The coin was not meant for circulation. In addition, a Sh40 coin also came into circulation to mark four decades of breaking away from the British rule. Both bore President Kibaki's portrait. However, this might change in 2013 since the New Constitution (Article 231) bars the Central Bank from issuing notes and coins bearing the portrait of any individual. Others will be souvenir products that have often propelled the country's growth such as tea and coffee. "As we move towards Kenya's Golden Jubilee in 2013, we intend to mobilise all stakeholders in the private and public sector and urge them to strategically align their activities and communications to build up on these opportunities," Mrs Kimonye told Smart

Company. "This will ensure that we position ourselves as a country and take advantage of all upcoming events so as to effectively embed the Kenya Brand in the minds of citizens and other relevant target audiences," she said. Favourable ratings by the US-based financial services company Standard and Poor's as well as Fitch-ratings revised Kenya's international credit rating to B+ have also helped change the country's image to investors. Besides, Kenya's ranking on the East-West Index has progressively improved from position 178 in Quarter 3 of 2009 to position 41 in the same time in 2010.

5,000

The value of a coin that the Central Bank of Kenya came up with during the 40th anniversary

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