#MKTE2019 – Day 1 in review


(Posted 03rd October 2019)

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala, yesterday opened the 9th edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo, accompanied by his Principal and Permanent Secretaries, the Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board Mr. Jimmi Kariuki, the CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board Dr. Betty Radier and CEO’s of tourism bodies under the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.
#MKTE2019 broke all past records in terms of exhibitors and space taken up at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where apart from all key spaces indoors were outdoor exhibition tents set up to cater for the sharp rise in demand by not just Kenyan but regional and continental exhibitors but also from other continents.
While 70 percent of the exhibitors represented Kenya companies did the percentage of regional and continental exhibitors rise to now 30 percent, a sign of MKTE’s recognition as one of Africa’s leading tourism trade shows.
From across Africa did exhibitors come from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda but also from Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa while hosted buyers came from as far as the United States and Canada, from across Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia and from as far as Australia.
Exhibitors covered accommodation providers and affiliated services like Media, Insurance and other service segments, tourism authorities and associations, governments, technology providers, tour and safari operators and DMC’s and of course transportation companies like car hire, shuttle services and airlines.
Notably were 720 applications received from companies of the countries and continents mentioned earlier, a staggering 380 more compared to 2018.
While some 200 applicants were successful in being hosted does the sheer number also attest to the rise in popularity of Destination Kenya and wanting to be doing business with Kenya and of course also the wider Eastern African region.
Some 20 international media organizations too were selected from the applications lodged with the event organizers ‘On Show‘, including ATCNews which makes regular appearances at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo since it launched almost a decade ago.
After the official opening and visit to the exhibition stands did Hon. Balala then answer questions from the media, where he highlighted again that Kenya expected a rise in arrival numbers of 10 percent compared to the year 2018. This must be seen in the context of Kenya, last year, welcoming 2.025.206 visitors overall, a rise compared to 2017 of 37.33 percent.

He also reiterated that the goal of his ministry was to raise arrival numbers to 5 million visitors by the year 2030.
While he acknowledged the role played by visitors from regional countries like Uganda and Tanzania did he also elaborate that research was being conducted into the spending habits and purpose of visits and when results are available will ATCNews of course publish the details
Meanwhile enjoy the YouTube clip in which Hon. Balala answers questions posed by www.ATCNews.org