The Role Of National Branding In Promoting Tourism In Kenya: A Case Of Hotels In Nairobi Central Business District
Globalization has brought about competitiveness among nations. Nations can no longer sit back and wait for tourists to visit their countries. Marketing of national attributes and creating awareness of what they possess has become the norm. Kenya has not been left behind. The country has engaged in national branding initiatives aimed at promoting Kenya as a preferred tourism destination. The purpose of this study was to establish the role of national branding in promoting tourism, a case of hotels in Nairobi central business district (CBD) area. The population of interest was all the hotels in Nairobi’s CBD area. The reason for using hotels as the case was because the researcher believes that tourism performance has a positive effect towards the performance of hotels hence any initiatives geared towards promoting tourism will be of concern to hotels. The study was carried out on all 26 hotels found in Nairobi’s CBD between the categories of five star and two star. A descriptive research design approach was used in this study. Primary data was collected using semi-structured questionnaire which was divided into four sections, the first part consisting of general information, second part had questions aimed at measuring the understanding of national branding by the respondents, third part contained questions on contribution towards national branding and fourth part contained questions that addresses contribution of national branding towards promoting tourism in Kenya. Managers in the respective hotels were the target for answering the questionnaires. Data was analyzed using SPSS program. Descriptive statistics method was used to analyze data and results were presented in form of tables and charts. From the findings, there is some understanding of what national branding entails among the tourism stakeholders. The study also established that national branding had a positive role towards promoting tourism. The study recommends the need for the government to allocate more resources for national branding initiatives. Stakeholders in tourism industry need to get more involved in initiatives of national branding. There was limitation in the study as the study population was not exhaustive of all tourism stakeholders. The researcher recommends more replica studies based on other tourism sector stakeholders for comparison purposes.
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