Kenya Tourism Board to call open pitch for global PR briefs

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will kick off an open tender process to find PR agencies across its major markets in the coming month, PRWeek understands.

A UK brief will be up for grabs in the process, which is likely to commence in late spring, sources have told PRWeek.

In November, PRWeek reported that the KTB was looking for a new UK and Ireland PR and destination marketing agency on a short-term brief. This was designed to bridge the gap between the end of Hills Balfour's contract and the time when the new contracts will come into force, at the start of the new Kenyan financial year (1 July).

Hills Balfour won that interim contract following a tender process with a closed shortlist, PRWeek understands. The agency has handled UK and Ireland comms for Kenyan tourism for 15 years in total.

MD Jonathan Sloan declined to comment, but had told PRWeek in November that if successful in its bid for the interim brief, it would be likely to look to continue to work with the KTB under the new structure.

The board itself also declined to comment.

In April 2015, Kenya's government contracted agency Grayling to boost tourism and investment in the East African nation, following a drop in tourist numbers in 2013 and the start of 2014, and a series of terror attacks. Grayling opened an office there to service the business and other clients, but no longer works with the government in this area after it's one-year brief came to an end.

Last year, the KTB said it expected 1.5 million visitors to arrive in the country in 2016, a large increase on 2015. It is likely that Britain again accounted for more of those tourists than any other country.

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