In response, Kenyans posted photos of their vacation destinations over the Christmas holiday under the hashtag #TembeaKenya.

Some say focusing on domestic travelers won’t help replenish Kenya’s foreign reserves. Calling the campaign “a rocking chair that won’t take us anywhere,” Nguru cautions that the project may have little impact over the long term. “In the national economy, tourism is an export product, one that brings important forex, without which the economy suffers. Jobs are lost and our shilling falls.”

Others say the initiative’s biggest contribution may be teaching Kenyans that travel and leisure are not the sole domain of foreigners. Hersi, of the Kenya Coast Tourist Association says, “What it has done is it demystified that coming and touring Kenya… is not a European thing or a white man thing.”

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