KENYA: The Kenyan government said Tuesday visiting British model Naomi Campbell has agreed to be Magical Kenya international tourism ambassador.
The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said the 50-year-old Campbell will help promote the marketing of Kenya as an ideal tourism and travel destination to the world.
“We welcome the exciting news that Naomi Campbell will advocate for tourism and travel internationally for the magical Kenya brand,” Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The deal follows a meeting between Balala and the supermodel over the weekend in the coastal region of Malindi.
During the meeting, Campbell who arrived in Kenya’s tourism resort town of Malindi on Dec. 15 last year to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays, lauded the government for the improvement of infrastructure at the Coast including the upgrading of Malindi airport to international standards, adding that this will boost tourism in the region.
“I am also impressed with the world-class standard facilities at the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Baobab course located in Vipingo Ridge, the only golf course accredited by the PGA in the whole of Africa. I invite golf professionals globally to visit the course to enjoy the experience,” she said.
Kenyan officials say the celebrity’s visit is a major boost to the tourism sector, which has been recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several hotels were forced to close down with others reducing their staff after governments introduced COVID-19 containment measures that included travel restrictions.
Campbell is among many international celebrities who love the resort town of Malindi and was in the town in 2018 for a photoshoot of an international magazine.
The east African nation is keen to rebuild trust and confidence among both foreign and domestic travelers and hence increase and sustain demand for holidays and investment in Kenya as a tourist destination.
The government says the tourism sector experienced a loss of revenue of 74 percent in direct international tourism receipts for 2020 translating to 37 billion shillings (337 million U.S. dollars) loss against projected revenue of 1.35 billion dollars for the review period.