This year’s Maralal Camel Derby is set for August 24-26, 2012 with more countries expected to participate in the event following aggressive marketing and publicity campaigns the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) has rolled out.
Last year, the annual event attracted participants from some seven countries from across the globe, which included the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Ghana, France, and several participants across the country.
KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said KTB has partnered with the community with a view to boosting the profile of the sporting event dubbed, “Magical Kenya Samburu Maralal Camel Derby.”
“This event is meant to drive sports enthusiasts to the northern part of the country, which apart from this event, has the unexplored tourism attractions, which we are aggressively marketing in line with our diversification strategy,” said Ndegwa.
Ndegwa said that the annual event has gained international recognition over the years and disclosed that it has registered participants from 16 different countries in the past years.
He observed that among Kenya’s tourism products, sporting activities such as athletics, rugby, and golf, among others, have propelled the country as a sports tourism destination and expressed his optimism that initiatives such as the magical Kenya Maralal Camel Derby will go a long way in boosting Kenya’s image as a sporting destination.
He said KTB is focusing on marketing strategies such as online, print media, electronic media, and other social interactive platforms to raise the profile of the annual event that has also been enriched with other cultural attractions, including a traditional marriage, cuisine, cultural dances, songs, and fashion show.
“We are also encouraging tour operators to draw up itineraries that will provide the participants with the opportunity to sample other attractions that are abundant within the northern tourism circuit,” said Ndegwa.
The larger district have several tourism products including wildlife, culture, and scenery, among other products. Road network and security has been improved in the region.