Press Trip Highlights Kenya’s Golf Tourism Potential 26/02/2010
Following the recent partnership between the Kenya Embassy in Brussels and Terre D’Afrique, a Belgian tour operator, the Embassy recently organized a five day press trip to Kenya. The trip was a fact finding mission to assess the standards and quality of golfing infrastructure with a view to then advise Terre d’Afrique, from a golfer’s viewpoint, on the composition of the tour packages to be launched shortly in the Belgian market, aimed at promoting golf tourism in Kenya.
The delegation was led by Mr. Denis Heskin, Managing Director of Golfstar and included H.E. Ambassador Kembi Gitura, Mr. Jan Baert, golfer and member of the Board of Directors, Concentra, Mr. Barry Stamps, President of Algonquin International Golf Group in Belgium, Mr. Xavier Champagne, freelance journalist and publisher, Backspin and Mr. Washington Oloo, Kenya Embassy Brussels.
The delegation was able to have a firsthand experience of the golfing facilities and support infrastructure available. They met representatives from the golf & tourism industries and officials in charge of running golfing in Kenya. They visited the Karen, Sigona, Muthaiga and Windsor golf courses in Nairobi, Vipingo Ridge, Nyali, Leisure Lodge and Leopard Beach in Mombasa and the great Rift Vally Lodge in Naivasha.
They were hosted to a dinner at the Windsor Golf & Country Club on 16th January 2010 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the guest of honor during the function was the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Hon. Cecily Mbarire, M.P. and were joined by senior officials from the Brand Kenya Board and the Kenya Golf Association. (Picture below)
The delegation held two press conferences where journalists from major media houses interviewed them on their assessment of the golfing facilities in Kenya and what they intended to do in order to promote golf tourism to Belgian golfers. Members of the delegation informed that they were impressed with the facilities they had seen and described them as excellent and of world class. Based on their findings, they would aggressively market Kenya to golfers in Belgium and arrange for groups of golfers to come to Kenya periodically to play golf. On his part, Ambassador Kembi – Gitura added that part of his detail in Brussels is to ensure increased tourist flows from Belgium to Kenya and he had identified golf tourism as having great potential to boost the numbers. The press conferences were featured in Kenyan newspapers and also aired on national TV networks including, KBC and K24 TV network.