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Tuesday, 20 July 2010


So Kenya is upbeat about getting 1.2 million tourists this year, according to the country's tourism minister. Is this good news, is it worth celebrating, or is it the height of underachievement?

If such a story is reported in the media in a confined context limited to the arrival figures of tourists in Kenya, it would really be hard for one to appreciate the significance of hitting the 1.2 million target.

Whereas if this figure is perhaps compared or contrasted with how other countries are fairing in Africa for example, one might then begin to properly gauge the import of this projected number of tourists to Kenya.

Egypt for example, received 12.8 million visitors in 2008. The number of people, who visited South Africa, just before the 2010 World Cup came to a close, had reached 1 million.

Of course the dynamics in these countries in terms of tourist attractions or motivation for travelling to these destinations are quite different to those found in Kenya. But that is besides the point.

By giving such a comparative analogy, the news story would enable the audience to better digest where Kenya stands in terms of its ability to attract foreign visitors, as opposed to narrowing the scope to reflect only the country's internal performance.

In other words, some stories end up being shallow mere reportage if care is not taken to give a critical analysis of what is being reported.

So what if Kenya gets its one million foreign visitors?

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