The Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Dr Betty Adero Radier in an exclusive interview with VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine has reiterated her desire to leave a lasting legacy as head of the country’s destination marketing organization.
Dr Radier, who was featured in the Personality Profile page for the March 2020 Issue is determined to make Kenya a must visit destination for every traveler.
She has been the boss of one of Africa’s leading Tourism Board for the last three years and below is a conversation about her work at KTB.
”I would like to be remembered for helping to transform Kenya to become one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. I want to feel the satisfaction that I did my best at this job, working with my team and our partners in all sectors to deliver to our strategies and objectives towards tourism revenue growth and contribution to our economy and communities. I want to one day look back and say that ‘I served my country well.”
Below is the full text of our interaction with her.
How does it feel to be the CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board? I must start by saying that I am very grateful and humbled by the opportunity I have to serve my country in the role of CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board. I see this as a chance to work together with Kenyans to promote Kenya as a destination whose diversity of amazing experiences and beauty offers all our visitors an individual, ‘magical moment’ every time they visit Kenya.
Take us through your highs and lows during your three years in charge of Kenya Tourism Board. My highs have been whenever I see the impact that the tourism sector is having on the local communities in Kenya. I am also happy when I see the value of our tourism contribution to the GDP of Kenya go up as was revealed in the 2019 report by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. This shows that we are on the right track but also reminds me that a lot of untapped opportunities exist to create a paradigm shift for the tourism sector. My lows have been the implication and impact of terrorism on the sector, this really hurts us as a nation and also has a negative effect on our tourism. Visitors always want to be assured that they are visiting a safe destination.
What’s informed the launch of Signature experiences? The journey of the Magical Kenya Signature Experiences started in 2016 when KTB reset the lens with which we looked at the destination offering in partnership with our stakeholder in the tourism industry. Kenya as a destination has a lot to offer but together with our private sector partners who are indeed the investors who make the diversity of offering a reality. We set out to explore, identify, evaluate and recognise the gems within our destination. This in turn provides a huge competitive advantage both for the tourism sector as well as the country as we embark on the marketing of these signature experiences. Kenya is blessed with authentic and exceptional travel experiences and products; our role is to identify them and ensure that the world knows about them so that everyone knows they have a chance or purpose to make a trip to ‘Magical Kenya’ to experience them
How is the security situation in Lamu affecting tourism in the coast and do you have any strategy to assuage that? It goes without saying that security is paramount for tourism to thrive. I would like to thank the Kenyan government for making sure that whenever we have a threat to our security as a country all measures are taken to ensure normalcy is restored and / or retained. In the case of Lamu where we have had challenges, Government agencies are working closely always making a concerted effort to ensure that our visitors and Kenyans always remain safe.
Do you think Kenya Airways’ current precarious problems have the propensity to derail the efforts of the board in marketing the Magical Kenya brand? Kenya Airways is very important to Kenya being our flag carrier and an important partner to KTB. I believe the efforts that the Kenya Airways board is undertaking with the support of the Government of Kenya will be fruitful and our hope is that it gets restored to the place it belongs which is the Pride of Africa and beyond.
Magical Kenya Travel Expo will be celebrating its 10 years anniversary, do you think the show has fulfilled its purpose? The Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) has steadily worked through its intended objective of being the premier travel show in Africa. We have seen an increase in all the key performance indicators for the show over the years. Both hosted buyers and exhibitors have steadily increased year on year. Today MKTE is recognised as one of Africa’s leading travel shows and has helped propel Kenya’s stature as a meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition (MICE) destination. The expo has experienced remarkable growth in business to business meetings which have helped to profile the destination globally. It has also helped to highlight established products and experiences. It has showcased new investment opportunities and developments in the sector especially in the areas of technology, access to the destination as well as the need to embrace sustainable tourism practices
Finally, what do you want to be remembered for during your time as Head of KTB / Legacy
I would like to be remembered for helping to transform Kenya to become one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. I want to feel the satisfaction that I did my best at this job, working with my team and our partners in all sectors to deliver to our strategies and objectives towards tourism revenue growth and contribution to our economy and communities. I want to one day look back and say that ‘I served my country well.