Mega Tourism Festival Week Begins!  27th Sep 2018

The Kenyan Ministry of Tourism has planned a mega festival starting this week to showcase the country's products for international and domestic visitors.

The Kenya Tourism Festival (KTF 2018) will be a combination of a tourism seminar, chef awards, beading exhibition (Ushanga), an investment forum, and the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE).

To kick-start the festival, Kenya will join the world on 27th September to celebrate the World Tourism Day.  This will be followed by the inaugural Ushanga (Beads) Festival 27-28, the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) and Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) from the 3rd to 5th October.

This year's MKTE theme is centred on tourism and digital transformation. "This is why we have hired a digital marketing consultant to lead us to intensive digital marketing campaigns across the world," said the CS for Tourism & Wildlife Hon. Najib Balala, urging all the stakeholders to make full use of the digital opportunity to grow the travel and tourism industry.

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala earlier this year during the KTF 2018 launch at a stakeholders briefing breakfast meeting unveiled plans to host Kenya’s inaugural Tourism Festival Week in Nairo33bi.

The Tourism Festival week is set to become an annual event where all the key tourism activities usually held at different times of the year will be congregated into one huge activity. The aim is to focus the nation’s attention on tourism.

According to the CEO of Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Ms. Betty Radier this year’ event is going to be bigger, better, different and most of all impactful. The tourism festival week that will run from 27th September to 5th October 2018 will have a theme that is centred on protecting culture and heritage.

 This year’s World Tourism Day’s celebrations will be held in Budapest, Hungary hosted by the UNWTO.  Hon. Najib Balala mentioned that the Secretary General of UNWTO Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili will be the chief guest during the Tourism Festival while President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over the official opening of both MKTE and Africa Hotel Investment Forum 2018.

Kenya Association of Travel Agents applauds the Ministry of Tourism for the idea behind the Kenya Tourism Festival week and investing in travel and tourism as this will be very impactful to the travel trade and the general growth of Kenya as a destination.

During a breakfast launch of the event, Hon. Balala said the new calendar will help improve tourists' experience as well as increase their stay in the country.

"The current traveller is keen on more experiences and options for choice. Therefore, the festival seeks to meet some of those aspirations," the CS said.

Travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, airlines, trade media and other travel and tourism stakeholders will showcase their products at the expo.

Hon. Balala said Kenya plans to attract 1.8 million visitors in 2018. Tourist numbers increased from 1.34 million in 2016 to 1.47 million in 2017, ministry data shows.

"Our tourism numbers grew by 9.8 percent last year despite the difficult challenges that faced the country. This should only make us increase our marketing drive to reach our full potential," he said.

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