Nairobi: As data from Kenya Tourism Board show that China is about to be the leading tourists source for Kenya by 2020, Stanbic Bank Kenya and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), have launched a new initiative to promote tourism between Kenya and China.
The initiative is offering incentives for travel, shopping and leisure to tourists visiting the two countries.
Under the ‘I Go Kenya – I Go China’ loyalty programme, Chinese tourists visiting Kenya will receive discounts and special offers whenever they use ICBC cards at selected travel, hospitality and lifestyle merchants in the country.
Kenyan tourists visiting China will also enjoy similar incentives when using Stanbic Bank Kenya cards. The programme has been jointly designed by Standard Bank Group, which Stanbic Bank Kenya is a member of, and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Standard Bank’s Group Head of Card and Emerging Payments, Lincoln Mali, said: “China has emerged as a key economic partner for Africa in recent years. Through the ‘I Go Kenya – I Go China’ programme, and in partnership with ICBC, we aim to strenghten relations between the two countries by encouraging exchange of visits. This is good for the tourism industry and the economies as well”.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) notes that China is among Kenya’s top-five tourism source markets, contributing 5.5 per cent of the traffic in 2017.
“Stanbic Bank Kenya is committed to drive Kenya’s growth. This strategic partnership to deliver an innovative bespoke offering will unlock potential of this key sector of the economy. As the industry flourishes, it will deliver even more benefits to the economy. This illustrates our wholesome approach towards driving Kenya’s growth because it is our home,” said Charles Mudiwa, Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Kenya.
The General Manager of ICBC’s Banking Card Center said, “With the further development of ICBC internationalization, the bank would continue to provide its superior products and services in overseas market. Since the launch of the first season of China-Africa transnational promotion, I Go South Africa, in November 2017, ICBC has provided more convenient transnational services to nearly 100,000 credit card holders in Africa. This year, ICBC and Standard Bank Group will continue to promote the “I Go” campaigns in other African countries to provide new opportunities for economic tourism exchanges between China and Africa”.
Deputy CEO of ICBC Africa, Mr. Gang Sun said, “China and Kenya have long been good friends standing together through weal and woe, working together for a shared prosperous future. Such friendship is manifested in political equality, economic cooperation and win-win results as well as cultural exchanges. The launch of “I Go Kenya” and “I Go China” is an important step taken by ICBC and Standard Bank Group to enhance two countries’ culture exchange. By launching “I Go Kenya” and “I Go China”, we hope to promote China- Kenya exchanges and deepen our friendship, making the flourishing credit card industry a new engine driving economic growth, and promoting social prosperity.”
The ‘I Go Kenya – I Go China’ loyalty programme follows the launch of a similar credit card offering between Standard Bank Group and ICBC in November 2017 when the two strategic partners collaborated to launch joint ‘I Go South Africa – I Go China’ loyalty programmes for their respective cardholders travelling between the two countries. Standard Bank Group and ICBC are working together to further expand the loyalty programme to other African countries this year.