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Kenya to host regional twin tourism expos in November

Arts and Culture
 From Left: Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers CEO Mike Macharia, Kenya Tourism Federation CEO Susan Ongalo, EAC Principal Secretary Abdi Jubat, Tourism CS Peninah Malonza, and Tourism principal secretary John Ololtua. [Peter Muiruri, Standard]

Kenya will host the third edition of the East Africa Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) in November, Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage cabinet secretary Peninah Malonza announced Wednesday.

The regional expo will be held alongside the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE), the annual travel trade fair that brings together tourism stakeholders, partners and media from Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Malonza said the two fairs will enhance both Kenya and the region’s visibility, forge partnerships and enhance investments in the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.

“This year, we shall be integrating the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) and the East African Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) seamlessly, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to unity and a shared vision within the East African Community,” she said. “The events provide a platform for the travel sector in the region to showcase and network with the world.”

The tourism sector, according to East Africa Community principal secretary Abdi Dubat, contributes an average 9.5 per cent of the region’s GDP and averages 7.1 per cent of employment opportunities in the region, or more than four million jobs. The EARTE and MKTE, he added, present an opportunity to share the region’s unique and common heritage to the world.

Kenya Tourism Board acting chief executive John Chirchir said the twin fairs will provide an opportunity for the country to consolidate its position as a premier meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination in the region, a key to grow and maintain Kenya’s global share of the international tourism market.

The inaugural regional tourism expo was hosted in Arusha, Tanzania in October 2021 while the second edition was hosted in Bujumbura, Burundi in September 2022.

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