Global technology company, Mastercard, has announced the signing of a partnership with the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) to help Kenya’s tourism sector rebound to its pre-pandemic level. The three-year collaboration is the first-of-its-kind for Mastercard in Africa.
The aim of the MoU is to drive growth of tourism numbers into Kenya by leveraging various Mastercard channels, including its Priceless.com platform. The MoU also includes increasing transparency on tourism trends, anonymized traveler profiles and economic impact through Mastercard’s Data Insights capabilities, which will enable KTB to plan, execute and improve its campaign reports.
Mastercard will also explore a loyalty and rewards program to boost tourism and enhance the impact of destination marketing efforts, including campaign planning and execution.
Further, the MoU brings access to information about Kenya that can enhance experiences during trips for Mastercard holders. Mastercard and KTB also plan to enhance the proposition by including bespoke travel packages including bush, city and beach experiences on the Priceless.com platform as well as brand campaigns to complement the tourism recovery efforts.
“Tourism is a critical sector for driving employment in any country. At Mastercard, we’re committed to helping countries come out of this pandemic with stronger, more resilient and more inclusive economic growth, including in the tourism sector.
We look forward to bringing our insights and assets to the table to help Kenya and its spectacular tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 lockdowns and associated travel restrictions,” says Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard.
The Covid—19 pandemic hit most sectors incredibly hard, and tourism was no exception. Tourism is a significant contributor to the local economy and showed strong growth in both international and domestic tourism at the beginning of 2020.
Unfortunately, in 2020 and 2021, Kenya’s tourism sector then declined dramatically. The Ministry of Tourism’s goal is aimed at attracting tourists at pre-pandemic levels, when over 2 million international tourists and over 4 million domestic tourists visited Kenya’s attractions annually, supporting over 24 million jobs.
Kenya Tourism Board CEO Dr. Betty Radier says: “The MoU with Mastercard aligns with KTB’s strategy of expanding our partner ecosystem to strengthen the sector and deliver on the goal of bouncing back fully to pre-2019 levels within the next 2 years. To do this we are focusing on several avenues to grow tourism revenues, including both international and domestic tourism, the use of digital marketing, and the creation of new and engaging travel experiences.
By combining Mastercard’s resources and experience as a leading international payment technology company with our tourism resources, I am confident the initiatives set out in this MoU will benefit the sector,” Dr. Radier says.
Mastercard enables overseas visitors to make seamless, cashless payments in regional cities and supports cashless transactions and digital transformation in payment and settlement operations among small and medium-sized businesses in Kenya.
Priceless.com, available exclusively to Mastercard cardholders, provides access to unforgettable experiences and valuable everyday discounts around the world. By showcasing Kenya’s signature destinations and experiences to over 3 billion cardholders, Mastercard is expanding the priceless experiences to millions of people around the world.