Tour operators to market Kenya at world’s top fair


The tourism industry is gearing itself for a major marketing mission after the clashes that followed last year’s polls.

Led by the Kenya Tourism Board, stakeholders are preparing to attend the annual International Tourism Exchange ITB in Germany — the world’s largest travel fair.

Forty companies from Kenya will present their products and services at the international forum that runs from March 5 to 9 bringing together the worlds’ top tourism and travel players.

The group representing Kenya will comprise Hotels, Airlines, Travel Agents and Wildlife conservation institutions.

The exhibition is expected to boost efforts to revive Kenya’s tourism industry following the post clashes slump.

“This is our first and most important exhibition and marketing activity after the clashes and we will use it as a launching pad for the industry,” said the Kenya Tourism Board Managing director, Dr Ong’ong’a Achieng.

According to Dr Ong’ong’a, the participants will be marketing Kenya’s tourist destinations as safe since they have not been adversely affected by the month long violence that started in January.

Kenya’s tourism industry has been trying to get across the message that the main tourism areas are safe and have not been affected by the violence that has hit the country.

This followed numerous cancellations that led to losses running into billions and thousands of lay offs causing a near grinding of the industry.
This is despite the fact that the main tourism areas of Mombasa, Tsavo, Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Mt Kenya and Laikipia have remained relatively unaffected by the violence in the country.

The situation has been also been worsened by several blanket advisories issued by various European governments despite there being no tourist injured in the fracas that hit the country.

The Berlin conference now gives Kenya an opportunity to present the true picture of its tourism circuits and attract visitors for the second and third quarters of the year.

The International Tourism Exchange which brings together more than 100,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors from all over the world will provide Kenya the opportunity to reaffirm her status as a top tourist destination in Africa.

Participants will also get to catch up on new trends, concepts and will find new cooperation possibilities and also deepen existing business relations.
From October 22 to 24 this year, the first ITB exhibition in Asia will also be held in Singapore.

The booming tourism in Asia which is boosted by an increasingly travelling middle-class is the reason for the Asian-Pacific tourism trade fair.

For the first time, buyers, industry-suppliers, service providers as well as sales people who are interested in networking and business opportunities in the Asian-Pacific area, will be able to meet on-site and to present themselves.