NAIROBI, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has received 3,000 international cruise ship tourists in the past two months, a government official said on Thursday.
John Ololtuaa, Principal Secretary at the State Department of Tourism, said that Kenya is benefiting from infrastructural development at the newly revamped cruise terminal at the port of Mombasa which has helped the destination tap into the cruise tourism segment.
"Two more cruise ships are expected to call on the port before the end of this quarter," Ololtuaa said in a statement after receiving 800 visitors and crew aboard the MV World Odyssey cruise ship at Kenya's port of Mombasa.
Ololtuaa noted that the development of the terminal was significant with more cruise planners now targeting Kenya within their itineraries.
He also noted that the return of the MV World Odyssey cruise ship was a testament to the appeal Kenya has among international travelers.
"This is a clear indicator of the growing interest by cruise companies in our destination and in particular the coastal region which forms a key component of Kenya's multi-dimensional tourism product," he added.
Ololtuaa revealed that Kenya will capitalize on the niche cruise tourism market as part of the country's diversified tourism marketing strategy.
He noted that cruise tourists form a crucial part of the tourism industry owing to their high spending thereby generating additional crucial revenue for the destination, adding that cruise tourism is a high-value market worth billions of dollars, especially for destinations that have invested heavily in the relevant infrastructure as well as marketing their destinations globally.
John Chirchir, acting chief executive officer of Kenya Tourism Board, said that the return of MV World Odyssey to Kenya shows that the destination has tourism opportunities that suit every visitor who arrives in the country.
"With the enhanced experiences at the Kenyan Coast and other parts of the destination, we take pride in being able to accommodate global visitors of diverse interests and tastes," Chirchir noted. ■