The CEO of the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Dr. Betty Radier has described as successful, this year’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE2021) which took a virtual format.
It was the first-ever virtual MKTE which had been occasioned by the current Coronavirus pandemic which has put limitations on in-person gatherings the world all over.
In a conversation with VoyagesAfriq on the VA Tourism Podcast, the CEO noted that the first virtual platform provided participants a seamless means for them to conduct their meetings.
“As per the last day of the show, there were no complains on people logging into their meetings, fulfilling, and conversing with intended meetings or scheduling and adjourning meetings,” she said, adding that “consumers were able to meet their expectations and the objectives of the event as they had successful meetings.”
On the Overall engagement and organization of a virtual event as compared to a physical event, Dr. Radier stated that to measure the effectiveness of the virtual event, KTB conducted an evaluation and research on each individual day to track the progress of the events in line with the planned activities.
“The research was geared towards ascertaining any incidences that might have occurred as well as having a measure of the number of people who logged into the system,” she indicated.
To ensure that the members were engaged throughout the session, the meetings strictly adhered to meeting times which was fixed at 25 minutes to ensure the participants are tackling the most important items and strict adherence to diary times.
With this year’s theme of ‘Re-igniting the Magic,’ Dr. Radier said that they had an extensive 8–10-week session with key stakeholders in the travel and hospitality to review where the destination was and the impact of the pandemic. They were then able to draw a strategic framework complete with timelines aware that the strategy needs to be able to adapt to any unforeseen trends.
They also looked at the domestic market and engaged multi-agencies drawn from the ministries of tourism, health, interior and foreign affairs to look at policies relating to travel that would enhance domestic tourism.
The KTB CEO disclosed that among the policies that have been implemented to position the destination competitively are the travel locator and contact tracing form which are geared toward ensuring that visitors to Kenya can immediately experience the destination.
The Kenya Tourism Board is aiming to push MKTE to the larger global scale in by roping in more partners from Africa and all over the world.
“For that to happen, the first step would be to ensure destinations within Africa acknowledging the show as having the gravitas, impact, and quality in terms of interactions they are looking for from a show whether in Kenya or any other market they go to shows in,” Dr. Radier emphasised.
She said KTB will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation to determine the format the next MKTE will take. MKTE2021 was held on October 5-6, 2021.