US Ambassador to Kenya says measures are being put in place to bring the flights to a reality.American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Vice President Ms Susan Cheats (left) ASTA Kenya Secretary Ms Caroline Njoroge, President Mr Zane Kerby and Kenya President Samson Some during the company's cocktail party at KICC on January 19, 2016. ASTA destination Expo will bring together over 2000 agents/ tour operators from US who will be in the country to learn and explore destination Kenya. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has expressed optimism that the planned directs flights from Kenya to America will finally take off from the ground.
Speaking after a six-day inspection tour of tourist attraction sights in Nairobi and Maasai Mara - from five star hotels, bush camps to Makuti lodges - ASTA President, Mr Zane Kerby, said he had held fruitful discussions with US Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, who informed him that necessary
measures were being put in place to bring the flights to a reality this year.
Mr Kerby, his secretary Susan Sheats together with ASTA Kenya secretary, Ms Caroline Njoroge, visited Maasai Mara where they enjoyed a two-day stay at the world renowned Sarova Mara Game Camp during which they toured the reserve to see wildlife.
The ASTA officials expressed optimism that Nairobi’s bid to host the ASTA 2017 global convention was being considered after it was shortlisted among other key tourist destinations.
Mr Kerby, who was accompanied by ASTA Kenya president, Mr Samson Some, and his officials said they had also visited Dubai, Mexico and Morocco to inspect facilities but expressed optimism that Kenya’s chances were high.
“Kenyans speak English and we also found that the six facilities we visited in Maasai Mara Game Reserve and in Nairobi conduct cashless transactions with ease with many international money cards accepted,” said Ms Sheats during an end of tour press conference at Crowne Plaza Hotel last week.
Mr Some said ongoing campaigns to market Kenya on social media had helped increase tourists’ inflows to Kenya.
He said ASTA would help counter the negative criticism about Kenya using American media channels saying recent visits by top US officials among them President Barack Obama had helped create a media buzz that rekindled positive interest on Kenya.
ASTA brings together 1,800 travel agents firms with other 200 chapters from around the world who mainly target the American moneyed travellers.