SO Tour & Travel News (TTN)
LP NEW YORK - The government of Kenya, anxious to promote tourism but prevent its ravages, is trying to encourage operators to utilize new areas. But operators are then faced with the difficulty of selling new names and places to travel agents and their customers. "If the travel agent isn't familiar with a place, they hesitate [in! recommending it," said John Webley, national sales manager for African Travel Inc., Glendale, Calif.
TX Also, clients tend to ask for itineraries that feature the places they have heard about. "We as operators have to [educate! . . . travel agents and consumers," he said. Areas Off Beaten Track Newer areas, relatively off the beaten track, include: Samburu Reserve, Marsabit National Reserve and Meru National Park. Two new lodges have opened at Samburu Reserve, where the animals are a bit different due to a drier climate. The first is the Samburu Serena Lodge, which is a chain owned by * the Aga Khan; the other is Sarova Shaba, of the British-owned Sarova chain, which just opened the first 30 rooms of what will be a 90-room lodge. Marsabit National Reserve and Meru National Park are northwest of Nairobi, flanking Mt. Kenya. "Meru is untrampled; there are not a lot of visitors. Meru has varied land forms. It is not as popular so it doesn't have the infrastructure. We set up our own camp for three days [there!," said Jon Wood, assistant to the president of Classic Tours International, Chicago, which features Meru in an itinerary. "One of the experiences we are trying to emulate is man against the elements, a completely private experience." Developments like this mean "We will see a much more in-depth approach to Kenya," said Wood. `Walking Safaris' Studied Abercrombie & Kent is also "investigating some walking safaris in outlying areas, such as at Matthews Range, Loita Hills and Chyulu Range in the North and in the Great Rift Valley for the 1989 and 1990 season," according to Helga Westell, vice president of marketing and sales for Abercrombie & Kent, Chicago. "We are looking to expand our camping division, talking about moving our mobile camp to areas that are not so crowded, and looking at private camping in these newer areas," she said. "Now the typical itinerary is Amboseli-Samburu-Masai Mara." Abercrombie & Kent is also looking at the possibility of affiliating with Catalina Flying Safaris to offer flying programs. These amphibious aircraft would make possible itineraries featuring Lake Nkuru, Lake Naivasha and Lake Victoria.
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