Kenyan Women in Tourism have come together to form an association to empower themselves in the sub-sector, writes Peter Muiruri
The Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) will play host to the 2012 Women in Tourism International Alliance (Witia) annual Educational Tour from in October this year. This will be the first time for the congress to be held in Africa.
A total of 600 local and international delegates are expected to grace the event that will run between October 20-27. Witia, an international networking organization founded in 2006, seeks to link tourism professionals, in diverse locations all over the world. Currently, Witia is represented in 30 countries and boasts a database of over 3000 tourism professionals worldwide.
Witia educational tours are designed to engage tourism professionals in the study of tourism practices in various parts of the world.? Last year, Witia members visited Costa Rica.
Speaking in Nairobi, KAWT’s Chairperson, Ms Faith Kithu said: “We are very excited about this opportunity of hosting the event and do Kenya proud besides empowering women in tourism.
The Witia Congress is a unique opportunity for women to showcase their products. This is also a fantastic business opportunity. We are bringing the business to the women in the region; they don’t have to travel outside to be recognized.” added Kithu.
While addressing the Witia conference launch at a Nairobi hotel recently, Tourism Secretary Dr Nelson Githinji lauded the women in tourism for the unprecedented task of extensively lobbying and winning the rights to host an international gathering within just a year of its inauguration.
“We must commend these women for achieving in a very short time a feat that normally takes forever for other established bodies.
We can no longer afford to ignore the voice of women,” said Dr. Githinji. Another competent bid to host the event came from the South Island of New Zealand.
According to Kithu, Kenya’s diversified and affordable tourism product coupled with the support from the Kenya Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism helped with the bid.
“As the first Witia visit to the African continent this is a great honour for Kenya. We call upon our partners and sponsors in the tourism industry to support us in cash and kind so as to make this congress a great success,” she said.
Speakers at the event reiterated the significance of holding this event at this particular time when preparations for one of the country’s biggest general elections will be in top gear.