Kenya hunts for global PR help to reverse impact of Islamist attacks

Kenya is looking for a global PR agency to help turn around a decline in the number of tourists and investors coming to the country following assaults by Islamist militias.

Kenya: Well known for its wildlife (Credit: Thinkstock)
Kenya: Well known for its wildlife (Credit: Thinkstock)

An agency is being sought to help lure visitors and investors back to the country after a surge in violence that included last September's attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which resulted in 67 deaths. 

The tender has been launched by the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, a cross-government group of five African countries that includes Kenya. 

The document, seen by PRWeek, calls the country "the economic and innovation hub of East and Central Africa" and highlights its wildlife and landscape as among the main tourist attractions.

However, it goes on to state that "an upsurge of insecurity… has led to a decline in the number of tourists/investors coming to Kenya".

Tourist numbers dropped last year to 1.5 million after a high of 1.8 million in 2011, with figures from Q1 2014 indicating a four per cent drop year-on-year; media reports suggest the actual numbers were worse. 

The drop follows Islamist terror attacks within the country in moves widely seen as a response to Kenya sending in troops to fight militants in Somalia in 2011.  

The tender, which has now passed the deadline for agency proposals, adds the ministry is looking for a "reputable global public relations and communications agency to work towards reversing this decline and position the country positively".

The brief will not impact on Hills Balfour’s UK work with the Kenyan Tourist Board.   

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