By Claire Wanja
About 40 Kenyan travel traders will be showcasing their tourism products at the 37th World Travel Market in London from 7th to 9th November as the tourism sector posts a 17.2percernt growth in arrivals.
The Kenyan delegation will be riding on the positives that Kenya has recorded in the recent past including key international events and high profile personalities that the country has hosted to profile the destination.
The total international arrivals for January to August 2016 by air and sea closed at 581,808 compared to 496,579 in 2015, illustrating an increase of 17.2%.
JKIA arrivals grew by 16.5% to record 522,709 compared to 448,549 in 2015. Moi International Airport Mombasa (MIAM), received 57,219 visitors, compared to 48,031 in 2015, a 19.1% growth.
“We are riding on our current positive image the country is enjoying globally to re-affirm our position as the preferred tourist destination as well as Kenya’s commitment to improvement of tourism business” says Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Acting Chief Executive Officer Jacinta Nzioka.
County governments, tour operators, hoteliers are among the travel trade promoting diverse tourism products and services the country has to offer. Kenya will be exhibiting for the first time in a joint pavilion with the East Africa member state.
WTM will used as a platform to announce the reviewed conservation fees by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) whose rates have been exempted from the 16% VAT.
KWS in a statement has announced that effective 1st November 2016, reviewed conservation fees for premium Parks will be capped at 60 US dollars down from 70 US dollars.
Nzioka said the reviewed Park fee will incentivize the travel trade to sell safari tours to Kenya. “This will also add to our incentives on charters as well as visa fee waiver for children below 16 years of age,” she pointed out.
She expressed her optimism that the current growth in tourism numbers will be enhanced with a number of marketing strategies KTB has put in place besides government incentives.
The UK market remains one of Kenya’s top tourist source markets to Kenya. “WTM is one of the platforms of showcasing Kenya’s destination and product diversification. Our global campaigns and the renewed confidence on destination is expected to boost our numbers from the market” added Nzioka.
Kenya will be among the over 5,000 suppliers of travel and tourist products who are meeting to discover and negotiate the latest travel industry trends and opinions, at the WTM, one of the largest tourism fair in the world.
KTB will also use the platform to launch its sustainability report for the destination, as a confirmation of commitment to embracing internationally recognized responsible tourism practices.