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When i keyed in the words Kenya on Google analytics i expected anything except what i got .The things people do not know about our country are many and very simple. I found it buffling that people (meaning the rest of the world)do not know we are in Eastern Africa,that we border the Indian Ocean and are smack in the middle of Somalia and Tanzania.That our country measures 582,636 sq.km and our capital city is Nairobi.What exactly then do peole know about us apart form the fact that we have some of the best long distance athletes in the world?
The results i got from Google analytics shows the interest in Kenya over the past 12 months ,the search words used over this period were ; Kenya map,where is Nairobi, Kenya,map of Kenya,capital of Kenya and where is Kenya.You would think that with our trail blazing athletes,Kenya Tourism board and the Brand Kenya Team and the Foreign Affairs Ministry all doing their thing there is a whole lot that is known about Kenya.That we may as well sit back, pop some bottles of champagne and wait for investors and tourists to come flocking in.But it isn’t that way and when i pulled this out ,the global monthly search yield for the ket word Kenya alone was 6,120,000,the local monthly search stood at 1.120,000 and this was today at 3 pm ,the analytics are here.
Which makes me wonder whether we may be putting out the wrong information or not enough information out there or maybe the bodies charged with marketing Kenya or making Kenya as a brand known have wrongly prioritized their need to know areas.Such that what we are giving out to potential investors/tourists is very different from what they want to know.
With the recent resignation of the Kenya Tourism Board chairman Mr Michael Joseph the former CEO of the mobile company Safaricom,maybe the next head of this body needs to be someone as hands -on and with as good a record as MJ.The reason for his resignation which can be read here were as a result of him being appointed the World Bank money transfer fellow .Seeing the success he had made of the mobile company by the time he left,it is hoped the next chairman’s appointment will be on merit,someone who can bridge the disconnect that seems to characterize the various bodies in the tourism industry.
The various bodies which are charged with the responsibility of making our country known beyond our borders need to know that sometimes they seem to be all pulling in different directions.In my opinion there needs to be a well orchestrated symphony among all the bodies involved from the Kenya Investment Authority to the newly formed Kenya Association of Women in Tourism and all players in between from tour operators to Ambassadors on how we can map out a strategy that works .We need to plan it in such a way that people can locate us on a world map with their eyes closed and that Nairobi is a capital children in Shanghai can utter even in their sleep.
South Africa is a good example of a country that has done this and that has benefited from its concerted campaign to be a prime destination when you think of Africa.This is the strategy that will work for Kenya ,making sure everything a potential tourist needs to know is out there such that visiting Kenya is on the bucket list of the 7 billion or so people who inhabit the earth.
So next time someone asks where is Kenya do not be surprised because a lot of people really do not know as much as we expect they should about this country that sits on the equator.A country that is home to one of the hottest places in the world,the Chalbi Desert,numerous world heritage sites,is home to one of the wonders of the modern world in the form of the wildebeeste migration and that has some of the best climates you will find anywhere in the world.What a strange thing….