Kenya tops as global travel destination at industry fete

Ministry of Tourism Chief Administrative Secretary Joseph Boinnet (second right) and KICC Chief Executive Nana Gechaga (second left) during the recent World Travel Awards gala ceremony in Oman. (Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard)

Kenya continues to cement herself as the global safari destination champion after scooping the prestigious 2019 World leading safari destination during the World Travel Awards (WTA) held in Muscat, Oman on Thursday.

The award was won by Mahali Mzuri, crowning the consistency it has had in this category having previously won the award five times in the last seven years in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In the Africa category, Kenya won Africa’s leading destination award as well as the leading destination management company while Nairobi was voted Africa’s leading business travel destination.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) was voted Africa’s leading tourist board while Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) was voted Africa’s leading meeting conference destination.

Diani won Africa’s leading beach destination while Kenya Airways received the Africa leading Business and Economy class airline award.

Commenting on the awards, KTB Chief Executive Betty Radier said the win was testament to the fact that tourists and business people across the globe prefer Kenya to other destinations because of its diverse offerings.

“We are very delighted to win these global awards because it shows great honour to Kenya’s safari offering which is loved worldwide. Kenya deserves this victory because the destination offers a myriad safari travel opportunities to our visitors,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kenya will host the Africa and Indian Ocean WTA on October 3, 2020 at KICC.

The announcement was made by the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Joseph Boinnet during the WTA gala ceremony in Oman.

KICC Chief Executive Nana Gecaga said preparations and partner engagements have already started in order to put up a memorable event that will boost and motivate the tourism sector to perform even better.

The event will further position the country as an attractive destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), also known as business tourism.

“KICC will be the exclusive host partner for the event and efforts to embark on marketing and PR campaign to leverage on the event is ongoing,” said Ms Gecaga.

“An attractive delegate package has been prepared to allow all the delegates attending the award gala to experience Kenya at a special subsidised rate.”

WTA was established to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of travel tourism and hospitality and is globally recognised as the ultimate industry accolade.

Kenya’s most sought after safari experiences are the annual wildebeest migration spectacle in the Mara as well as other wildlife sanctuaries around the country.

In June this year, during the 26th Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony that was held in Mauritius, Nairobi was named Africa’s leading business travel destination, while KICC was voted the continent’s leading meetings and conference destination.