Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is upbeat that the 2018 Kenya Open Golf Championship will significantly raise Kenya’s global profile as a golf tourism destination.
Commenting shortly after the launch of the 2018 Kenya Open Golf Championship at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier particularly lauded the decision to increase the tournament’s total prize kitty by 127% to Sh 62.5 million, making the Kenya Open the richest tournament in the European Challenge Tour.
The move is expected to increase participation of local players and attract a higher caliber of players from across the globe.
“Since it begun in 1967, the Kenya Open Golf Championship has transformed into an international sporting event of note that has attracted hundreds of international golf players over the years – most of whom are from Kenya’s top tourism source markets in Europe such as the United Kingdom. We expect this year’s tournament to attract even more international players which will definitely be a major boost to Kenya as a golf destination.”Said Dr. Radier.
The main event of the Kenya Open Golf 2018 edition will kick off on 22nd March and run until 25th March 2018 at Muthaiga Golf Club.
At least 156 golfers, including about 22 Kenyan professionals, six Kenyan amateurs and over 100 European Challenge Tour players, are expected at the Barclays Kenya Open Championship.
Dr. Radier added that the long history of the Kenya Open Golf Championship, now in its 50th year, not only attests to Kenya’s high global profile as a golf destination but is also a clear attestation to the fact that Kenya is a safe and stable tourism destination.
The KTB CEO said, “Anyone who is looking for a golf destination can look to Kenya owing to its long golfing tradition. Today, Kenya has over 40 golf courses located in picturesque locations all over the country. Take the Mount Kenya Safari Club’s 9-hole golf course, for example. It not only sits in the shadows of Africa’s second highest mountain – Mt. Kenya but also right along the equator where one can tee off in the northern hemisphere and putt out in the southern hemisphere.”
At least eight of the golf courses across the country have hosted major tournaments and are considered to be of international standard. Kenya is the only country in East Africa that hosts a PGA approved golf course – Vipingo Ridge Baobab Course.
With long days, consistent sunshine and temperate weather to nourish its courses, Kenya offers the perfect golfing escape from the northern hemisphere.
KTB will continue to support the Kenya Open Golf Championship and to leverage on its international audience to market Kenya as a sports tourism destination.