Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala today expressed confidence that the destination was quickly on its way to full recovery as it built on resilience, powerful destination, growth of domestic tourism and value addition to tourism experience.
Balala who was briefing the local and international media at Bomas of Kenya after opening the 12th edition of Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) said the estimated arrivals would translate to 265 billion shillings.
“Last year, we recorded 870,000 visitors into the country with revenue receipt of 146 billion shillings, and by close of this year, we have better projects since things have begun looking up, says the CS
The expo, which is the largest East and Central African Travel Trade Show, brings together over 200 exhibitors and 160 buyers among other industry partners and media from some of Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
According to Balala, the Expo marks a significant development in the recovery of the sector from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic slump. He noted that the presence of exhibitors and hosted buyers representing about 30 countries affirms that Kenya is a country that continues to attract global attention and investment in tourism development.
“MKTE 2022 represents the aspirations of the tourism sector in Kenya and Africa, it shows that the sector is ready to kick off and we are ready for business. I am happy to see the optimism among partners who have come together to make this event a success again,” he said. “This is a great platform to sell Kenya to the global tourism market and we are confident that within these three days, we shall see some interesting developments as we look forward to building on the already existing partnerships between our tourism industry and global players.”
CS Balala added that the Ministry has built on efforts to ensure that tourism experiences are not only safe and enjoyable for visitors, but also sustainable and profitable for stakeholders in the industry.
“As a Ministry, we have been focusing on increasing our country’s value proposition by highlighting its unique offering and culture through events such as MKTE. Earlier in the year, we launched our new strategy that will provide a road map for the sector and will shape the future of Kenya’s tourism industry,” said the CS
He added, “We shall continue to build on these efforts to position Magical Kenya as one of the most attractive destinations for visitors from across the globe. I welcome you all to Magical Kenya and hope that you will have enjoyable and fruitful engagements during the three days of the Expo”.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Betty Radier says that the 2022 expo is part board’s efforts to revitalize tourism in Kenya as it focuses on Africa and other emerging markets.
“We are delighted to have the event return to in-person after two years, last year we held the event virtually to ensure that the sector did not lose out on any opportunities,” she said. “As we continue to work towards our vision of a thriving tourism industry, we are determined to support this vital sector by providing an environment that will attract visitors and enable them to connect with the best in local hospitality, culture and heritage.” Said Dr Radier
The three-day event will run from today until Friday, 7th October, 2022. A number of seminars with compelling themes on current trends in the travel industry will be presented during the three-day expo.
MKTE has over the years brought together different international buyers from top source markets into Kenya who have seized and created opportunities in the country’s thriving tourism sector, which is one of the backbones of the country’s economy.