KTB targets virtual expo to lift depressed tourism activities


PHOTO | Courtesy

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and five other companies in the tour and travel industry will have a chance to showcase various products and experiences during this years’ World Tourism Market to be held virtually beginning Wednesday.

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KTB is seeking to leverage on the international trade expo to aid gradual recovery of the tourism sector that slumped last year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

(KTB) Chairman, Jimi Kariuki says the event is also expected to help participants deliberate on issues concerning tourism.

We are currently going through a global health crisis that has made it impossible to hold meetings and exhibitions especially because of the physical nature of tourism and travel. But this also provides us with an opportunity to innovate and come up with solutions to benefit the industry, the virtual space provides us with this avenue,” said Kariuki.

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A survey by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) conducted in March revealed that on average, 98% of hotels that were sampled across the country were operating compared to 97% in January and 35% in May last year due to continued re-opening and ease of COVID-19 restrictions.

Similarly, the average bed occupancy also continued to recover gradually, averaging 27% in March, compared to 24% in January.

The sector is still relying on domestic tourism to aid the sector’s recovery as international arrivals remain sluggish amid vaccine rollout in various source markets.

WTM is an annual event that showcases Africa’s tourism offerings and a leading business-to-business (B2B) exhibition for the inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets.

WTM Africa creates personal and business opportunities providing industry players with quality contacts, content, and communities through its industry networks, global reach, and regional focus.

WTM among other expos and events we take part in have played a critical role in creating a link between us and our key source markets. This travel mart will bring together Africa’s tourism stakeholders and other international tourism players, we hope to create synergies and ensure that destination Kenya remains alive and fresh in people’s minds and gain knowledge as well from other players from across the continent and beyond” Kariuki added.

Traders who wish to participate in the virtual fair are required to be members of a trade and travel association and will benefit from directory listing where they can present new products and services, add videos- and website links and brochures to potential buyers.

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