Kenya has lately been in focus after Prince William of Great Britain chose the African country to propose to his girlfriend of eight years, Kate Middleton. As the word of royal engagement spread, Kenya welcomed the development foreseeing increase in tourist arrivals.
The couple got engaged during a private trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a sanctuary located at the foothills of Mount Kenya. Now, Kenya’s tourism officials believe that the publicity of the royal engagement will promote Kenya as a romantic destination, where once “a prince proposed to the princess”.
“For a country such as Kenya which relies heavily on tourism, this will create worldwide publicity and will significantly enhance the profile as a romantic holiday destination,” Kenya's Tourist Board Director, Angie Sloan, is quoted as saying in media reports.
As the royal couple will tie the knot in 2011 summer, Kenya foresees the coming months as crucial for promoting tourism in the region. Travel agencies have already started offering 'Romantic Kenyan holiday' packages.
Kenya's Tourist Board estimates that, after the news of royal engagement, arrival of foreign tourists by the year-end will be over a million, compared to about 0.6 million last year.
Kenya, which has numerous wildlife reserves, gets a large share of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from tourism.