Kenya’s tourism promoters said Thursday it will be hosting some 180 key travel trade representatives from 35 key tourism market countries later this week for a global exhibition to help boost the country’s tourism sector.
The Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) which will be held from Oct.10 will see buyers traverse the country from the pristine coastal beaches to Kenya’s national parks and reserves, conservancies, experience a rich mix of adventure, culture, authentic safari while sampling Kenya’s cuisine.
“We are expecting close to 180 hosted buyers from about 35 countries. They will begin their tour of the country on Oct. 10-13 before attending the main Expo,” Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Ndegwa said the expo has attracted travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers and trade media from Kenya’s key tourism source markets among them Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe have begun arriving into the country.
He said the expo is one of the major events that KTB has identified as a platform to reinforce Kenya’s resilience and zeal to market her tourism products which resonates well with this year’s theme Sustainability; Keeping the magic Alive.
In its fifth year, this year’s MKTE will be held from Oct. 15-17 in the country’s coastal region of Kwale.
Since its inception MKTE has attracted interest and attention from the stakeholders as evidenced by the growth of exhibitors to over 40 percent in the past four years.
Some of the new entrants this year includes Radisson Blue Nairobi, China Southern Airlines and Lufthansa.
Over ten county governments are to showcase in the expo while international tourism boards represented include Burundi, India, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Ndegwa said the three-day event will be preceded by a familiarisation trip to showcase tourism products to the hosted buyers who are pre-qualified decision-makers and influencers from the travel trade and therefore presenting an opportunity to endorse Kenya as a tourism destination to beat.
The East African nation has stepped up its marketing blitz to woo key source markets in wake of a decrease in tourist arrivals occasioned by unabated spate of insecurity brought about by acts of terrorism from Al-Shabaab and travel advisories issued by countries that provide key source markets.
MKTE was initiated to profiling the destination and place Kenya in the global tourism map. This borrows from other widely publicised exhibitions that KTB has benchmarked on and has attended over the years.
The Expo additionally continues to provide a platform for business to business interactions between hosted buyers and Kenya’s tourism sector players.
Tourism is the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue for Kenya after tea, with the main tourist attractions being photo safaris through 19 national parks and game reserves, though the country has been diversifying to other areas like eco-tourism, conference tourism and cultural tourism.