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James Weru - CEO – African Pro-poor Tourism Development Centre
1) Please tell something about your organization and your key achievements & benefits you provide.

African Pro-poor Tourism Development Centre (APTDC) is a duly registered charitable organization under Certificate Number OP.218/051/2003/0369/3010 pursuant to and in accordance with section 10 of the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act of Kenya. The organization is the African Chapter of African Pro-poor Tourism (USA) and it seeks to promote the utilization of tourism as a strategic tool to alleviate poverty.
The centre was the first of its kind in the East African Travel & Tourism Industry and until it was founded, tourism was not being used as strategic tools towards addressing the various social problems such as unemployment, poverty and gender inequality. We at APTDC are guided by this slogan "Give the local community a fish and you feed the for today, teach the to fish and you feed them for ever".
The organization has engaged in a number of successful projects which has facilitated local economic development, namely; facilitating hotel investments through fostering partnerships between local communities and hospitality industry investors, enhancing employment through tourism by initiating the pioneer tourism career development centre in Kenya, promoting fair trade in African baskets and marketing of philanthropic safaris.
2) What are the top 3 most valuable benefits visitors can expect if they plan a visit to the destination and organization you represent?

a) Enjoyment of African tourist “hot spots” and heritage
b) A chance to touch the hearts of locals visited through local economic development
c) A chance to travel responsibly and engage in carbon free travel, you get a certificate to proof this

3) Most of our readers are vegetarian. They don’t eat meat, fish or eggs. Do you have facilities for vegetarian food near the popular tourist destinations?

All the hotels that we use have a variety of vegetarian meal plans that enable vegetarians to enjoy their stay in the destinations visited.

4) Which are the websites in English that gives information about destination and various tourist attractions?

www.propoortourism-kenya.org
www.propoortourism-usa.org

5) Do you find that Asian Indians visit often visit the destination that you represent?

Most of the tourists who visit Kenya are mostly from traditional markets (Europe and America) but recently Asia has emerged as a promising source market and a substantial amount of visitors are being received from Asia now.

6) Do you provide an online facility or blogging platform for visitors to leave their experience?

Not at the moment but they can send their experience which we upload in our site as testimonials.

7) What opportunities do you provide to experienced travel & hotel entrepreneurs to invest? Is there any website or Govt. agency responsible for channeling investments?

As a development agent in the travel and tourism industry we belief that local and international investments are critical. So that effect we provide investment profiles to potentials investors, facilitate the development of public-private partnerships, and undertake feasibility studies for companies interested with investing in the tourism industry. This is done in collaboration and the ministry of tourism, Kenya investments Authority and Kenya tourism Development Corporation.

8) Do you have Asian Indian association, temple or population nearby?

Yes, there are a substantial number of Indian temples and associations in Nairobi.

9) What advertising & marketing method you use to reach out to potential tourists and investors? Which medium is the most effective medium?

We use a number of marketing medium to market of services, namely; internet, brochures, word of mouth, magazines and journals. The most effective means of marketing is word of mouth were clients are referred to us.

10) Has the current global economic downturn impacted the flow of tourists? How are you dealing with this situation?
The economic down turn has really affected the tourists arrivals but we are making ends meets by engaging in reducing operations costs and marketing to domestic tourists.

11) What does most visitors and guests enjoy the most when they visit your destination?

Kenya is blessed with the new seventh wonder of this world “Wildebeest Migration”, this is spiced with tourists touching the hearts of locals by engaging in philanthropic endeavors during their safari.

12) What are the most popular festivals or events for general tourists?

Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara and Waswahili Cultural even in Lamu (along the Kenya coastline)

13) Which are the popular trade-shows, conferences and events for travel professionals?

Easter holiday exhibition (March), Getaway exhibition (November), adhoc tourism conferences.

14) Which are the websites for associations representing hotels, tour operations and travel agents?

www.kato.org, www.ecotourismkenya.org

15) What is the best way an American visitor can plan a trip to your destination?

The best way is to select a safari from our webpage www.propoortourism-usa.org, or request for a tailor made safari from our USA office, we are dedicated to providing carbon free safaris by offsetting an equivalent of carbon produced by visitors in course of their traveling. Our safaris are non profit and the mar up added on the safari (15%) can be treated as a tax deductible grant for American Travellers.
 

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