Magical Kenya Travel Expo attracts record 50 countries

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala (centre) flanked by Principal Secretary Fatuma Hisri (left) and Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chairman Jimi Kariuki(right) during the opening of Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi in 2017. [File: Standard]

A record 50 countries have confirmed their participation in this year’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE), the largest tourism fair in the region organised by the country's top tourism marketer Kenya Tourism Board (KTB).

The tourism exposition which is set to run from October 2, 2019, to October 4 will be preceded by tours organized for the business buyers to different tourism attractions across the country from September 27 to October 1, 2019.

 “We shall showcase our rich products and experiences to the buyers to enable them to get first-hand exposure of what magical Kenya has to offer before a three-day exhibition,” says KTB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Betty Radier.

The exhibition will be at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

Already 164 hosted buyers and 20 international media personalities are confirmed for the event that has also attracted tourism boards from the region.

They include the Rwanda Development Board, Uganda Tourism Board, Tanzania Tourism Board, Seychelles Tourism Board, and Zimbabwe Tourism Board.

Radier said that the expo presents an opportunity for over 211 local exhibitors including hotels and travel agencies to benefit from a cost-effective promotional platform that will generate new business through interaction with international trade.

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Seminars with compelling themes on current trends in the travel industry will also be presented during the three-day expo. 

According to the CEO, the number of hosted buyers and exhibitors recorded a 15% and 3% respectively compared to the 2018 expo, a trend she noted was a testament to the growing recognition of MKTE as Africa’s show of choice as well as Kenya’s global stature as a Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) destination.

Hosted buyers include travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, and trade media from Kenya’s key tourism source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

“This is yet another opportunity for our hospitality industry to network and explore business opportunities at the leading travel trade expo in East Africa,” added Radier.
                    
Tourism players are optimistic that close of 2019, will report more arrivals given reduced insecurity incidences and prevailing conducive business environment buoyed with transformative strategies on tourism promotion and marketing by KTB.

 “The positive outlook is already visible in the first quarter of the year (July-September) in which international arrivals closed at 604,690, compared to the same period last year which posted 587,385 arrivals. This is a growth of 2.9%”, disclosed KTB CEO. 

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