Genting, a Chinese-based airliner, recently announced that its luxury Boeing 777, Crystal Skye, will be taking its maiden trip from China to Kenya in September, bringing with it high-flying Chinese tourists who will be traveling to Kenya on a 10-day holiday.
The luxury aircraft, whose average capacity is 450 passengers, will carry only 86 elite travelers, each of whom will pay 4.7 million Kenyan shillings (about $45,000).
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The maiden trip is set to coincide with China’s seven-day holiday in October and will come just a month after Jack Ma, the richest man in China and founder of Alibaba Group, toured the country.
Being the first luxury trip to the country, what should Kenyans expect?
To begin with, Crystal Skye, which specifically targets wealthy Chinese tourists, is expected to bring a group of potential investors who will tour different parts of Kenya and identify existing investment opportunities.
The 86 tourists will need accommodation services in local hotels as well as tour guides to take them to the various tourist attraction sites available in the country, impacting the economy as it brings in loads of cash and creates jobs for locals.
The Chinese guests will stay at Villa Rosa Kempinski in the capital of Nairobi, a top-class hotel that hosted the former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015, and tour the famed Maasai Mara National Park among other sites.
Boosting Kenya’s Global Image
The trip will be an important statement to the international community that Kenya is a major travel destination and a safe place to live in. This is important for Kenya, which has lately been tainted by terror attacks and political instability as it heads to its general elections in August.
Over the last decade, Kenya has positioned itself as an important destination for tourists and international investors, hosting several prominent global leaders including the aforementioned President Obama, Pope Francis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and more.
It has also hosted several important global events, such as the Global Trade and Development Conference and the IAAF World U18 Championships.
This apparent confidence in the East African country by the global community serves to dispel the negative image of the country and Africa, in general, which is usually depicted by international media.