KATA Hosts a Successful Convention in Naivasha  12th Sep 2018

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) held its first ever Annual Convention that combines the Association’s 2nd Travel Agents Innovation forum and the 39th Annual General Meeting from 7th to 8th September 2018 at Enashipai Resort & Spa- Naivasha.

The event was sponsored by Kenya Airways, Travelport Kenya, Finserve Africa Limited, Amadeus East Africa, Kenya Tourism Board and Sanlam Life Insurance Limited.

Kenya’s Permanent Secretary for Tourism Mr. Joe Okudo, officially opened the 2018 KATA convention and delivered the keynote address on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala.  The KATA Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Wanyoike speaking at the event mentioned the main objective of holding this convention is to provide a platform to discuss emerging technologies and innovations in travel and tourism industry.

KATA’s CEO, Mr. Nicanor Sabula was keen to mention of innovations, changing technology and landscape of Global Air Travel. “The travel and hospitality industry is perhaps the industry that has been mostly disrupted by the ever changing technological advancement. From the emergence of online self-booking portals such as Booking.com; to shared economies like Airbnb, Uber; to Artificial Intelligence and robotics; and now to the buzzword block chain technology. Disruption in the industry is coming fast and furious. The only way to survive the onslaught is to be creative, innovate and adopt to change. This not only calls for change at the individual business level but collectively as an industry at the national level.

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife in relation to this, commissioned the development and recently launched the National Tourism Blueprint 2030- a strategy that will ensure Kenya’s tourism industry remains competitive and grows. The blueprint focusses on four key strategies namely; The Product Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Infrastructure Strategy and the Investment Strategy.

Ms. Betty Radier,  CEO Kenya Tourism Board, talking about, the place of travel agents in the National Tourism Blueprint 2030, gave a good insight into the travel industry in regards to moving trends in technology not forgetting the human touch which is still important. Changes that are happening in air transport are likely to shape the future of travel. Some of them include the emergence of low cost carriers, changing distribution patterns, demographic changes of travellers and other key trends and patterns. It is a race towards improving operational efficiencies and meeting the ever growing customers’ demands. The forum discusses the latest technologies and inventions driving the travel industry and explores how travel companies can adopt the technologies to become competitive. It delves in to the world of Mobile, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Block chain.

In October 2018, Kenya Airways will commence direct flights between Nairobi and New York City. This is the most anticipated event in the travel industry not only in Kenya but also across the region. The Managing Director & CEO of Kenya Airways, Mr. Sebastian Mikosz, discussed on positioning Kenya's travel agents in the direct flights from Kenya to USA to reap big from this historical venture.

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