By Christine Muchira
Kenya Tourism Board is leveraging World Under-18 Athletics Championships planned for July 12-16 at Kasarani to showcase Kenya’s tourism products.
Kenya will be hosting close to 3,000 athletes from more than 130 countries, and more than 300 journalists from local and international media that will be attending the event.
Hospitality industry is set to record fast business with hotels expected to record good bookings.
Domestic tourism recorded a 14.6% growth last year with a total of 3.6 million bed nights being taken up by domestic travelers compared to 3.1 million in 2015.
This growth has been attributed to among others aggressive marketing initiatives as well as improved infrastructure in main tourist destinations.
KTB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Betty Radier says the championship presents an opportunity to showcase the best that the country has to offer for a global audience.
KTB has organized media tours to key tourist attractions by the international media covering the championship as well as other international senior IAAF officials.
Other activities include itinerary for shopping malls in the country where people will get to win sponsored tours to some of Kenya’s best tourism sites through raffles or competitions.
KTB will spend about 20 million shillings towards advertising and promotional campaigns in different platform.
The World Under-18 CEO Mwangi Muthee during a press conference to unveil tourism promotional activities around the championships said the athletics has put Kenya on the global map.
Kenya topped the medals table during the inaugural 1999 and 2009 and will be aiming to do it again as the country hosts its first global track and field event.
Places to visit
Tourist attractions within the city including the only National park in the city; Nairobi are among other attractions to benefit from tours by both local and international visitors.
The Museum aims to interpret Kenya’s rich heritage and offers a one stop for visitors to sample the country’s rich heritage both for education and leisure.
At the museum, visitors are treated to a variety of shopping and dining facilities, as well as botanical gardens that offer a serene environment.
It is usually open daily from 8:30am- 5:30pm including weekends and public holidays
Visitors can enjoy the park’s picnic sites, three campsites and the walking trails for hikers at the National Park which is a short drive out of Nairobi’s central business district .
There is a wide open grass plains and a backdrop of the city scrapers, scattered acacia bush that play host to a wide variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded.
Animals to watch out for include buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, baboon, zebra, wildebeest and cheetah and 100 mammal species. There are also 400 migratory and endemic bird species.
Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum located at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
The Museum is open to the Public every day (9.30 am to 6pm) including weekends and public holidays. IAAF visitors can enjoy a museum shop that offers handicrafts, posters and postcards, the Movie ‘Out of Africa’, books and other Kenyan souvenirs.
Bomas of Kenya is situated 10km from Nairobi city center, and about 1 km past main entrance of the game-filled Nairobi National Park is another site that the visitors can visit.
At Bomas different aspects of Kenyan culture are displayed including living styles, crafts, music and dancing.
Six hotels earmarked to accommodate guests during the World Under-18 Athletics Championships are ready to welcome participants for the global track and field event.
In June, World-Under 18 and Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee said his team signed contracts with several hotels that include; Safari Park Hotel, Windsor Hotel, Sportsview Kasarani Hotel, Kenyatta University, Kenya School of Monetary Studies, and Stadion Hotel.
The athletes village at Kenyatta University has been upgraded to a three star hotel.
It is expected to host 3,000 athletes and officials.
Windsor will accommodate the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) family.
IAAF’s partners and technical support team will be accommodated at Safari Park Hotel that has set aside 150 rooms for the competition, while Kenya School of Monetary Studies that will house the media has provided more than 110 rooms.
Sports View Hotel has availed 200 rooms where other international and national technical staff will be hosted.
Stadion Hotel too will host the technical staff.