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Tourists to use charter flights

Story by MWANIKI WAHOME
Publication Date: 11/01/2005 (DAILY NATION)

The Kenya-Polish Forum, an NGO, has started an ambitious charter flights programme to attract more Polish tourists.

The first charter plane will land at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, tomorrow with 220 tourists aboard for a two-week visit.

Polish envoy Wojciech Jasi'nski said his country was a dynamic member of European Union and could become a new avenue for Kenya's efforts to increase growth potential and diversify its tourism, trade and investment sources.

The programme, he said, was the first practical step to increase the number of tourists from Poland.

The chartered planes, after the Kenya Week campaign in Poland during September 19-25, is the next practical and successful achievement of the Kenya-Polish Forum.

"It acted as a catalyst in bringing together Kenyan and Polish tourism stakeholders," he said in his office yesterday.

Last year, he added, 2,032 tourists had visited Kenya and the new programme aimed to increase the number to more than 20,000 by 2007.

Already the chartered planes, that would be landing after every two weeks, were fully booked up to end of March.

Said he: "The additional 2,500 tourists will make a jumpstart in the process of making Poland number six or seven in in-bound tourism."

Kenya-Polish Forum's Nairobi chapter chairman Julius Orowe said the tourists who came through the programme would cut costs by up to 30 per cent. He said the NGO was formed by Kenyan professionals trained in Poland.

The Kenya Tourism Board's assistant regional marketing manager, Mr John Chirchir, said he was targeting high-spending Polish tourists to pay premium prices.

"Tourists from Poland recognise that Kenya is an exotic but expensive destination that offers unique tourism products," he said. "Hence it was decided that charter planes would attract more tourists from there."

However, he said, there had been no elaborate marketing of Kenyan tourism in Poland by the board, although they had identified certain market segments to focus on.

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