Kenya Tourist Board turns agents into 'KATS'

NEW YORK -- The Kenya Tourist Board launched a Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist (KATS) program and related Web site for North American travel agents,

KATS-certified agents will receive two ICTA continuing education credits.

Further, agents certified as Kenya master travel agent specialists -- those KATS who have taken a minimum six-night escorted trip to Kenya -- will receive consumer referrals from the Kenya Tourist Board's toll-free consumer hotline at (866) 44-KENYA.

The Kenya Tourist Board will offer the first study trip in the second half of this year.

"The timing of the campaign coincides with increased interest in Africa as a tourist destination," according to Hank Todd, vice president, Carlson Destination Marketing Services, Minneapolis, which markets Kenya in the U.S.

Kenya had 48,304 U.S. arrivals in 2000 and 42,613 last year. Tour operators have seen a rebound in bookings to Africa since January, Todd said, and U.S. arrivals are expected to exceed 2000 numbers this year.

In related news, Carlson Destination Marketing Services recently appointed Joan Bohan as Kenya sales and marketing specialist for the Northeast in the company's New York office, which opened last month.

Prior to this position, Bohan was business development manager at the New York office of Globus & Cosmos.

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