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Kenya ranks second at key tourism expo

 Tourists up close during wildebeest migration in Masai Mara National Reserve on August 8, 2020. [File, Standard]

Kenya emerged second for the best tourism stand in Africa at the Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) in Mumbai, India.

Mauritius Tourism Authority topped in the medium size exhibition category in the three-day expo that attracted over 1,250 exhibitors from 50 countries.

Saudi Arabia was top in the large exhibition stand category followed by Qatar and Maldives. 

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) acting Director of Market Development Fiona Ngesa said the Kenyan stand attracted a huge number of visitors, signalling interest in the country’s tourism products.

“Besides our destination brand visibility, what is key for us is the number of business leads and conversions we have been able to get during the exhibition. The response from the market is positive, and we look forward to increasing tourist numbers from the market,” said Ngesa. 

She added that OTM provided a platform for reconnection and re-entry into the market after a lull in global travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. India is among the top five performing tourism source markets for Kenya, recording over 120,000 visitors in 2019.

Last year, arrivals closed at 81,458 visitors, a recovery of 67 per cent compared to 2019. 

Exhibitors expressed optimism about increased business after the show.

“We had good business leads for group travels and those coming for conferencing. This is a positive prospect for us,” said Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport Sales Manager Luke Khaemba.

African Quest General Manager Taher Adamji said there was a lot of interest in Kenya among Indians, adding that wildebeest migration remains a major attraction for most potential tourists.

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