The ongoing Rugby World Cup in England has attracted worldwide attention, with the back (and sometimes front) pages of the dailies splashed with images of the quadrennial event. Diehard fans have had to part with huge amounts of money to travel to the venue so to be a part of the live action. Those who for one reason or the other could not to make it, have been following the activities of this tournament online or on their television sets. The TV business players are smiling all the way to the bank, as companies scramble to secure a slot to advertise either when the game is ongoing or during the half time break.
The World Cup in England is the Fifteens, which in non-rugby terms, is to say that each team has fifteen players. Rugby enthusiasts claim this is the real rugby, and it lasts for eighty minutes. Almost like a football match. Most people however, are conversant with the shorter version of rugby which lasts for fourteen minutes with a one minute break. This is the rugby sevens, with seven players on each of the competing teams. The Kenyan team has been performing particularly well in this sport and people pay more attention to it now than they used to earlier on.
There are different rugby tournaments that are well known by many people such as the Safari 7s, The IRB 7s, the Bamburi Rugby Super Series and the Elgon Cup. The Safari Sevens attracts crowds from all over Africa and from outside the continent. It’s an annual event held at the Kasarani Stadium for a weekend. The IRB sevens series are also are held in different parts of the world such as Dubai, South Africa, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and England. This promotes travel and tourism around the world.
The Safari Sevens, which is Africa’s premier sevens tournament, has just received World Rugby approval. This gives prestige to the Safari Sevens and the approval means that the tournament will be able to attract the top tiers of teams in the sevens version of the game. This is good for business and especially the tourism sector as teams and their fans will be coming down to Kenya to watch rugby and while they are here experience what Kenya has to offer.
This year’s Safari Sevens tournament will run from 3nd to 4th of October. These are four ways the tournament will boost tourism in the country;
The tournament sees many foreign players, fans, coaches, journalists and other people interested in the sport, flying in from other countries or different parts of Kenya, creating a great need accommodation and food. They are hosted in hotels for these two purposes. Take Mombasa as an example. Hotels in the region are booming because the tourists that come to enjoy the tropical weather and the sandy beaches flock into them for accommodation and food. The same applies to the Sevens events.
Review of services and Kenya as a whole
Nothing sells a country better than reviews made by tourists and foreigners who have been here before. The more reason why the services and products offered during the Safari Sevens period have to top notch. They will talk about their experience in Kenya with their families and friends, the products they bought here will be evidence of the unique Kenyan culture and touch. They are also bound to write online reviews on the hotels and places they visit while here. These reviews are mostly used in travel advisories. Good reviews will result in more tourists coming to Kenya, to have an experience of their own. Since the rugby fans are in Nairobi they should be encouraged to visit the only park in a capital city – Nairobi National Park.
Booming Business=Economic Growth
Kenyans, Nairobi folk to be specific, are known to be very entrepreneurial people, who jump at the slightest business opportunity that presents itself. Over the years, business people have mastered the art of knowing just what the fans that flock to the stadium need, from airtime to soft drinks to fast foods to sport gear…whatever item you need is available. This, however minimal, contributes to the country’s economy. Now, tourists prefer to visit countries that have a stable economy. Simple arithmetic.
No two cultures are exactly the same, therefore it is a great opportunity for people from different cultures, countries and beliefs to interact and get to know about each other. There is more to the tournament than just rugby, like the exchange of ideas, thoughts or just moments of bonding between people from different cultures.
Kenyan rugby players should be tourism ambassadors.
Kenyan players also bring something unique to any tournament that they play in. Their dancing has won them fans around the world who look forward to seeing the Kenyan team and fans celebrating. That is something our tourism board should take advantage of, to promote Kenya. Using the Kenyan Rugby team as tourism ambassadors is something they should think about. The Safari Sevens is the perfect opportunity for Magical Kenya and Kenya Airways to sell Kenya as a tourism destination like these 9 destinations. Check out the video below of the Kenyan team bringing their own brand of awesomeness to rugby with their dancing.