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Kenya will intensify online marketing activities in Spain in a bid to attract more visitors, Tourism Minister Najib Balala says.

Juan Carlos, the King and his wife Sofia-Queen of Spain who had visited Kenya’s exhibition standThe initiative, he said, will go in line with the increasing number of Spanish travelers who do direct booking online with statistics showing that online booking has recorded an increase of 12.5% while the use of package holiday decreased by 3.9%.

The minister made the remarks in Spain during the just completed FITUR exhibition where Kenya was represented by the ministry and the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) led by the managing director Muriithi Ndegwa.

Given the increased importance of the internet, Kenya launched the Magical Kenya Spanish Sub-Site to boost Online Marketing Campaign with more Spanish tourists expected to make frequent visits that would translate to more visitors.

Tourist arrivals from Spain to Kenya have been on an upward trend since 2006 but declined in 2008 by -59.6% from 15, 001 in 2007 to 6,055 in 2008 owing to post election violence.

However, the market has shown some resilience with a recovery rate of 87.8% in 2009 compared to 2007 which is our benchmark year.

While receiving Juan Carlos, the King and his wife Sofia-Queen of Spain who had visited Kenya’s exhibition stand, the minister assured the Spaniards of Kenya’s stability and readiness to offer diversified tourism products.

He said that among tourism products attracting Spaniards, Golf has become a niche product.

“Golf is a very popular sport in Spain and is going beyond the borders with interesting golf offers for frequent players” said the minister who was accompanied by KTB managing director Muriithi ‘Ndegwa.