- The expo which is the largest travel forum in the region has brought together business people from 50 countries across the world.
- KTB CEO Dr Betty Radier says the expo will help cement Kenya's position in the global tourism map.
Kenya has attracted 139 new buyers from across the world in the 9th edition of the Magical Kenya travel expo.
The expo which is the largest travel forum in the region, will see business people from 50 countries across the world converge at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), from October 2-4.
This number is an indication of growing interest of the destination by people in the tourism business from across the world following the previous forums, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has said.
KTB, the host of the expo, said that a total of over 160 exhibitors would be attending.
This year’s expo has also seen the number of hosted buyers increase from 150 to 164 from 2018.
“The new buyers who will be present in this year’s event show a clear indication that the expo has been making a big impact in selling the magical Kenya destination, it shows that the hosted buyers from the previous events have been pushing the destination world wide hence the big interest, this is one of the main purpose of this forum” said KTB CEO, Dr Betty Radier.
“This year presents yet another opportunity to ensure that we that we put Kenya in the global tourism map by ensuring that we have ambassadors who understand the country’s attraction sites and are able to market us well worldwide” added Dr Radier.
The event provides an opportunity for local exhibitors to benefit from the cost-effective promotional platform that will generate new business through interacting with international trade.
It allows enhanced networking between the business entities in the country and buyers from across many countries thus cutting cost for travel from own country to another.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said MKTE was part of the ministry's strategy to increase brand visibility of destination Kenya, through ensuring that tourist numbers to the country continue improving.
“The Magical Kenya travel expo is in line with our strategic objective of enhancing visitor experience, as well as increasing their awareness of the country’s offerings in tourism," Balala said.
"The current traveler is keen on more experiences and options for choice, therefore, the forum seeks to meet some of those aspirations for the investors and business people in this space,” said CS Balala.
Travel and tourism in Kenya has grown by 5.6 per cent to contribute Sh790 billion and 1.1million jobs to the Kenyan economy.
This beats the average global growth of 3.9 per cent and the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 3.3 per cent.
In 2018, arrivals into the country hit a 2million mark, spending over Sh157 billion, which accounts to over 15 per cent of total exports.
“The government is fully recognizing tourism as a main pillar of the National Development Plan and is therefore investing to ensure vibrancy of this sector through creating platforms such as the Magical Kenya Travel Expo for industry players to converge and seek opportunities," Balala said.
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.