Our company Uniglobe Northline Travel exhibited at the Samantha Bridal Fair which was last week at the Sarit Centre. There was a lot to see and do. There were all kinds of stands, from bridal shops, to gift shops, to photography stands and even stands selling cooking utensils for the lucky couple. Then there were the travel companies like ours who were there to sell honeymoon packages to couples getting married or even holidays.
This got me thinking about how tourism and marriage go together. Most couples (in the middle or upper class) take a honeymoon package after the wedding. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one night at a hotel or a week away on holiday or a month long cruise in the Mediterranean or Caribbean islands. The thing is the honeymoon is usually a time where the couple takes time to go bond and enjoy marital bliss somewhere other than in their home. After all which bride wants to be taken straight home to start cooking after one of the most exhausting days of her life.
So off the couple go on honeymoon and the more exotic the better. Some go to the beach, others go on safari, others go on cruises some even take a mountain climbing honeymoon. To each their own, after all different people have different ideas about the perfect honeymoon.
So it comes to be that honeymooners create revenue for the tourism industry. There are many countries that sell themselves as honeymoon destinations. One of these is Thailand. Italy, France and Zanzibar also sell themselves as romantic destinations for a honeymoon. In Africa the destination that seems to get a lot of honeymooners is South Africa. There is so much to see and do. The infrastructure is great and they have many facilities and activities you may not find anywhere else (cheaply) on the continent.
Thailand has adopted a romance and wedding theme as the main strategy to get British tourists to visit Thailand in the coming years. The tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to use that as the theme for its booth in London during the World Travel Mart.
When we exhibited at the Samantha Bridal Show we exhibited under South African Tourism Board. South Africa is one of our best selling destinations and so we got a stand where we were selling packages to South Africa.
It would be interesting to find out if our own Kenya Tourism Board has plans to sell Kenya as a honeymoon destination. After all we have some of the best spots in the world, from the Masai Mara, to the beaches at the coast and the safari Lodges. There is a lot to see and do in Kenya.
Our Ministry of Tourism needs to promote Kenya as a destination for tourists. Right now their focus in on making Kenya a destination of global conference tourism. This is a great idea. That would definitely increase our foreign exchange earnings.
The thing is that honeymoons bring in quite a chunk of change that should not be ignored. There are hotel bookings, gifts that are bought to take home (foreign tourists) money spend on flights, entertainment etc. If you look at it that way then investing in honeymoon tourism would be a great way to go. Then one day we can give South Africa a run for their money.