The port city of Mombasa will host next year’s 5th edition of the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) in October. MKTE is an annual, international tourism exhibition organised by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) that attracts participation from local and international trade partners.

Speaking to Weekend Business at the Severin Sea Lodge, Mombasa, KTB Managing Director, Mr Muriithi Ndegwa said  plans are afoot to have the event, which has traditionally been held in Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), be staged in Mombasa.

“We want to show full support to Coast tourism, which has suffered the brunt of international travel advisories mostly due to insecurity by staging this annual event here as we support the Kenya Coast destination,” he said.

In 2013, over 150 travel agents and tour operators from 30 countries around the world were hosted to a familiarisation trip and thereafter invited to interface with 98 local tourism industry partners in a two-day exhibition at KICC.

Also, Ndegwa announced that early next year, the board in conjunction with its parent ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism and private stakeholders will launch a campaign to encourage international charter airlines from the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and Continental Europe to start flights to Kenya.

Attraction sites

“There has been a lull in international charter flights, mostly from Europe into Mombasa’s Moi International Airport that would have otherwise been useful in serving the Kenyan Coast destination,’’ he said.

Ndegwa said the new move is meant to shore up support and ensure demand for passengers keen on sampling the Coast destination. “We know the government has put in place necessary security measures, some of which are evident in the way the Coast destination has been secured over the festive period and even beyond,” Ndegwa said.

Ndegwa said a raft of other promotional campaigns include a raffle campaign targeting the domestic market where winners bag holiday for two and global advertising campaign in the international arena to portray Kenya’s readiness to do business with the rest of the travel world.

“We will also engage in reassurance missions in some of the key overseas markets like the United Kingdom, Japan, USA and France in a bid to win back support,” he said.

Ndegwa commended Kenyans for heeding to KTB’s call through the Tembea Kenya campaign to sample the diverse tourism attraction sites by patronising holiday destinations particularly at the Coast and the Maasai Mara during the Christmas festivities.


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