The 3rd edition of the East African Regional Tourism Expo and the 2023 Magical Kenya Travel Expo (EARTEMKTE 2023) has commenced in Nairobi, Kenya’s vibrant capital. Kenya, as the host country, is proudly presenting the regional expo alongside its flagship event, MKTE.
Over the next three days, the expo promises to showcase the finest aspects of tourism from each participating country within the East African Community (EAC). The grand opening ceremony, held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, welcomed representatives from all seven EAC countries, including Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
While each nation passionately advocated for their unique attractions, a unified call resonated throughout the ceremony—urging the region to deepen its integration and collectively market and promote its tourism offerings. Dr. Alfred Mutua, Kenya’s Minister of Tourism and Wildlife and the host of the event, emphasized the strength in presenting the region as a common destination, promoting collaboration for a more robust tourism industry.
“Regional circuits are crucial; let’s collaborate to promote the region’s tourism,” urged Dr. Mutua.
He highlighted challenges hindering tourism growth, such as the need for enhanced air connectivity among East African countries, improved safety and security, dispelling perceptions of insecurity, and diversifying tourism offerings to appeal to a broader audience, including young adventure seekers, food enthusiasts, sports fans, and climate-conscious travellers.
Dr. Mutua underscored the untapped potential of the region, citing opportunities like cruise tourism along the Indian Ocean that runs through East Africa. Additionally, he stressed the importance of championing sustainability to not only preserve the environment but also uplift the socio-economic conditions of citizens.
Various speakers, including the Ministers of Tourism from Uganda and South Sudan, Kenya’s Minister in Charge of EAC, the EAC Deputy Secretary General, and high-level delegations from Rwanda and Burundi, reiterated the call for a unified approach to tourism marketing.
A significant highlight of the opening ceremony was the unveiling of the “Visit East Africa” brand which is expected to help galvanize the marketing and promotion of the region’s tourism.
EARTEMKTE 2023 has drawn substantial attention, boasting 110 hosted buyers and 309 exhibitors from 33 countries. The three-day event has captured the interest of both international and local media, further solidifying its status as a pivotal moment in the East African tourism calendar.
Click here to access images from the opening ceremony.