Businesses & Financial News

In-person tourism expo returns after 2-year hiatus

By Monica Muema

The 2022 Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) is set for a physical return on 5th – 7th October 2022 after a two-year hiatus occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The expo which is the largest East and Central African travel trade Show will bring together about 200 exhibitors and 150 buyers among other industry partners and media from some of Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier says that the 2022 expo is expected to attract participation from about 30 countries from across the globe. “We have not been able to host the Magical Kenya Travel Expo physically in the last two years due to the pandemic. Last year we opted for a virtual show to keep the travel trade abreast with the opportunities we have as a tourist destination and to ensure that we kept the engagements going. With the great improvements in the Covid-19 situation in Kenya and Internationally, we are delighted to announce that the Expo will be held physically this October,” said Dr Radier.

She added that the Expo would provide an ideal opportunity for the travel and hospitality industry to network and explore business opportunities in person and also familiarize with new opportunities. “We welcome our partners from around the world to come and witness what makes Kenya a special destination. It will be an opportunity for sector players to sell the opportunities available to the buyers and also give first-hand exposure to the product. We encourage all tourism players and partners to take advantage of this opportunity,” Dr Radier.

The expo also presents an opportunity for the local exhibitors including hotels and travel agencies to benefit from a cost-effective promotional platform that will generate new business through interaction with international trade.

A number of seminars with compelling themes on current trends in the travel industry will be presented during the three-day expo.

Over the years, the Magical Kenya Travel Expo has 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.

MKTE attracts hundreds of participants from across the globe each year and has played a significant role in boosting the country’s tourism and by extension, East Africa’s.

The Magical Kenya Expo comes at a time when the government is upping its efforts to restore the industry which suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the full reopening of the economy, the government through KTB has been engaging different partners in the tourism industry with an aim of restoring the industry’s sector performance back to pre-pandemic levels.

The industry has been on a recovery path with the sector earnings jumping 65 percent to Sh146.51 billion last year up from Sh88.56 billion in 2020, according to the Kenya Tourism Sector Performance Report of 2021.

The report further noted that the domestic bed nights grew by 101.3 percent between 2020 and 2021 while international bed nights grew by 0.05 percent.

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