Published on : Wednesday, January 3, 2018
On Tuesday, Diani seaside town in Kwale County was put on the world map by a group of 34 local and international divers who leaped out of the sky at 12,000 feet, and this brought much happiness for the spectators present.
Among the skydivers was Kenya Tourism Board chairman Jimi Kariuki, who was sky diving for the first time in Diani.
Mr. Kariuki took part in the adrenaline-charged sport as part of the efforts by the agency for promoting Diani, which is yet to pull through a tourism slump in spite of boasting an award-winning beach.
The county was in the limelight for most of the time last month, as 500 international skydivers from 37 countries took part in the Diani Beach Festival.
The skydivers included professionals and world champions from the United Kingdom, US, Germany, Spain, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France, Qatar, Australia, China, Japan, Italy, South Africa, Hong Kong and Denmark. The festival began on December 9, 2017 and ended on New Year’s Day.
The organizers said that the festival was aimed at promoting Diani in the overseas markets. Activities such as skydiving, kite surfing, cycling, quad biking, deep sea fishing, fly boarding, scuba diving and yoga were in plenty.
Mr. Kariuki said he was very excited to have skydived for the first time. “I enjoyed every minute of it. Imagine you are at 12,000ft in the sky and you are exposed to the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The scenery of the South Coast is excellent. It was a great opportunity to promote this stunning beach holiday destination and woo more holidaymakers from across the globe,” he said.
He advised Kenyans to undertake skydiving instructor courses because, at the moment, the majority of instructors are foreigners.
Mr. Kariuki said that KTB would market Diani in overseas markets. He noted that although Diani beach in 2017 was voted as the leading beach destination for the fourth consecutive year by World Travel Awards, the resort had recorded low tourism numbers. The KTB, he added, would work hand in hand with tourism players in Kwale County to uplift the industry.
In 2018, KTB will aggressively market Kenya in both traditional and emerging markets.
“The key markets targeted are UK, US, Germany, France, Italy and Eastern Europe, as well as China, India, Middle East and Africa,” Mr. Kariuki added.