HOLIDAY FAIR 2013 AIMS TO ATTRACT AND STIMULATE DOMESTIC TRAVEL
The2013 edition of Kenya’s domestic travel exhibition at the Sarit Centre, Holidays 2013 Tourism Fair, is going underway today and will run until the 24th of March, giving Kenyans the opportunity to see the range of resorts, safari lodges and safari camps now available for them at special residents rates.
All leading hotel and lodge companies, but also DMC’s and other service providers, will be exhibiting at the region’s largest domestic tourism show. In no particular order have companies like Serena Hotels, Sarova Hotels, Hemingways, Fairmont Kenya, Cheli & Peacock, Sun Africa Hotels and many others confirmed to this correspondent in recent days and weeks that they will exhibit at the Sarit Centre and try to fill their beds for the upcoming Easter season.
Many have confirmed that a distinct downturn of foreign tourist arrivals as a result of the March 04 elections has left them with space to sell and the current petition pending before Kenya’s Supreme Court, filed by the main loser of the presidential elections, has kept many foreign visitors away for longer as the outcome may yet set the stage for an election re-run. ‘Another election will be very costly for Kenya. We have to spend money we do not have for another election in April and in addition tourists will stay away for the uncertainty this might create. We have demonstrated that Kenyans are responsible citizens. Our election went on peacefully, the counting and announcement of results was peaceful and even the petition in court so far was peaceful. Personally I cannot blame our overseas partners to be cautious but only appeal to them to trust our processes here. There is no danger for foreign tourists. However, we have empty beds and the Holiday Fair this year is extra important to help us sell beds, for the Easter holiday period and right through the low season till end of June or to mid July.
Kenyans and East African have in the past been a backbone for our business. The pay less, that is true, but have helped to keep occupancies within viable range. Without Kenyans travelling to the parks and the coast, our sector would be much worse off when the wagenis are staying away’ said a regular source overnight in response to the question how important this year’s edition will be.
Also on site will be the Kenya Tourism Board and other trade partners like tourism associations, all working hand in hand to promote increased domestic travel and meet the objectives to eventually reach a 50 percent local and regional business margin vis a vis foreign visitors. Happy selling to all the participants.