Jacaranda Hotel voted best at tourism expo

Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort was ranked the best facility under the hotel category out of about 40 exhibiting at the just-concluded fifth edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE).

In a statement, the event's official organisers, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said Sunday that the event was a huge success owing to the huge number of participants.

And speaking during the award ceremony, Jacaranda Group of Hotels Group Sales Manager Liz Tapawa said they focused on engaging all their guests who visited their stand and passionately sold their products with consistency.

"Our stand was themed with the Diani destination, capturing the white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. Visitors to our stand got the refreshing Madafu drink," she said.

Ms Tapawa, who was accompanied by the hotel's general manager Ann Safari, said they were delighted with the award as it comes just seven months after they re-opened the resort.

"We look forward to reclaiming our place as the leading resort in Diani," she said.

The Ugandan exhibition stand was ranked the overall best at the close of a three-day expo at Leisure Lodge Resort in Diani, Kwale County.

Customer services

The tourism fair, which attracted over 120 exhibitors, was named as one of the best shows, with participation having gone up by 40 per cent compared to last year. The Uganda stand showcased by Uganda Tourist Board had a big number of exhibitors, and attracted a big number of clients.

"The general look in terms of branding and customer services, gave the Uganda stand a lead over the rest," said Waithera Ng'ang'a, the Marketing Society of Kenya chief executive officer, who led a group of judges in ranking the exhibitors.

Lamu County took the best stand slot under the County government category, while Kajiado and Kwale came second and third respectively.

At least eleven counties participated.

"Lamu had a business approach in their exhibition, a mixture of every aspect of business including investment, tourism, trade and other attractions. The exhibiting staff were educative and engaging," said Ms Ng'ang'a.

Pollman Tours was voted the best under travel and tours category. National Carrier Kenya Airways was ranked the best under airline category, followed by Turkish and China Southern airline respectively.

The Africa Travel Trade Associations was ranked the best under the allied associations with Jovago coming second, while Amref took the third spot. While releasing the results, Ng'ang'a said the judging was done professionally and independently and noted that the exhibitions were up to the required standards.

She said the fifth edition of MKTE has the potential of being a global annual event owing to the professionalism associated with it and the growing interest by the travel trade.

KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the board would turn the fair to a must attend expo not only within the region but globally.

"With the increasing interest and popularity of MKTE, we have the impetus to now take it to the next level," Mr Ndegwa said.