The stage is set for Kenya to host the eighth edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo.
Kenya is hosting a representation of over 30 countries from across the globe participating in the largest tourism fair in the region, Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) set to run from 3rd to 5th October 2018.
Already about 150 tourism hosted buyers and 20 international media personalities are in the country, visiting tourism attractions and experiences ahead of the expo expected to be opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), the host of the expo, has announced that 185 exhibitors have confirmed participation up from 140 exhibitors during last year’s edition. At the same time, the number of hosted buyers at this year’s expo has risen to 150 up from 132 recorded last year.
KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier says increased participation in the event is a testament to the growing recognition of MKTE as Africa’s show of choice as well as Kenya’s global stature as a Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) destination.
Hosted buyers include travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers and trade media from Kenya’s key tourism source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
“This is yet another opportunity for our hospitality industry to network and explore business opportunities at the leading travel trade expo in East Africa.”, says Radier.
Alongside MKTE 2018, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said Kenya will receive increased brand visibility as a destination over the next one week as a result of other events to be held within the week that include Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the Africa Union Tourism Ministers Summit.
Balala says Kenya is looking to receive more visitors in 2018 given reduced political activities and conducive business environment.
The positive outlook can already be seen in the past six months. In the 2017/18 financial year, combined arrivals for July 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2018 closed at 1,488,370 compared to 1,393,568 in 2016/17, illustrating a growth of 6.8%.”, he disclosed.
He added that domestic segment has recorded a growth of 1.1% as indicated in the domestic bed nights’ figure that closed at 3.67 million bed nights compared to 3.64 million in 2016/17.
Tourism receipts for the period under review posted a 9.9% growth at KSh. 117.6 billion, up from KSh. 107 billion recorded in 2016/17
“We are optimistic that tourists will continue to visit Kenya as their holiday or business destination as we adopt more strategies aimed at realizing the full potential of the sector”, says Balala.
He says tourism sector will continuously monitor and adapt to the dynamic market needs in order to accord visitors an unforgettable experience as well as increase their visitation and stay in the country.