ITEN, KENYA: Kenya’s government has brought on Grayling to boost tourism to and investment in the African nation.
The country’s Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce, and Tourism has hired the firm for tourism "recovery and revival" and "inward investment" in the nation, it said in a statement.
Kenya began the agency search last summer.
The firm’s work will include local and widespread messaging support and putting the country on the world’s radar, according to a statement from the firm.
Grayling won the year-long account after a competitive bid. Budget information was not immediately available.
Kenya’s tourist numbers dropped in 2013 to 1.5 million after a high of 1.8 million in 2011, and figures from Q1 2014 indicated a 4% drop year-over-year. However, other media reports suggested the actual numbers were worse.
Loretta Ahmed, Grayling’s CEO for the Middle East and Africa, acknowledged that the country "has suffered serious blows to its tourist industry and global reputation over the past 18 months" in a statement, something she called "distressing."
"There are few places more deserving of our support today," she added, in the statement.
Just last week, 148 people, including 142 students, died when Garissa University in Kenya was ambushed by members of the terrorist group al-Shabab. The New York Times reported on Thursday that the country is "struggling with how to respond to the gruesome attack."
In September 2013, at least 67 people were killed in an attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya.