Kenya will in six months’ time showcase itself to the world as a tourist destination in a week long travel trade show.
The event, dubbed Kenya Tourism Festival (KTF) 2018 which will see the country host the Africa Hotel Investment forum (AHIF), which is the highest-profile event of its type in Africa, attracting international investors from dozens of countries; it will stage the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE), which is the largest travel trade show in East Africa and it will announce a package of measures to incentivise investment. The events will run from 27th September to 5th October 2018.
Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch both events publicly on the morning of Wednesday October 3rd at a ceremony at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
After joint sessions addressing tourism to Kenya in general, the more investment-focused discussions of AHIF will move to the Radisson Blu Upper Hill, Nairobi.
“On the Tuesday, there will be a programme of inspection visits so incoming travel buyers, investors and journalists can see new attractions, infrastructure development projects and investment opportunities in person. The week’s formal activities will conclude on the Thursday evening, when outstanding examples of sustainable tourism will be recognised.” A statement from KTB reads in part.
Speaking at a breakfast briefing at the InterContinental Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Hon. Najib Balala, said: “We are unveiling a new calendar of events in the tourism sector known as Kenya Tourism Festival (KTF), which will be an annual event that will add value to our tourism experiences. This is in line with our strategic objective of enhancing visitor experience, as well as increasing 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.”
Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events said: “You have to take your hat off to the Cabinet Secretary; by bringing these two events together in this way, he has created a much more compelling reason for other destinations to come to Kenya to promote themselves, as they will be able to talk to both professional tourism buyers and international hotel investors in one trip. Also, senior-level hoteliers and tour operators will have the opportunity to meet each other and they will see each other taking a serious interest in Kenya on inspection visits.”
During the same event, Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, CBS, Principal Secretary for Tourism mentioned that: “KTF is premised on the 2018 World Tourism Day celebrations and has been customized to highlight the developments in our local scenario, whereby tourism is a key economic driver that contributes substantially to the country’s GDP and job creation.”
While expounding on AHIF, Mr. Orumoi T. Jonah, Managing Director, Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) said that the Tourism sector is experiencing high volumes of investments and expansions in hotels and other tourism products, an indicator of foreign investors’ trust in the growth of Kenya’s economy.
He said: “TFC calls on investors and stakeholders in the tourism sector to establish Joint Innovation Projects and subsequently apply for funding focused on developing innovative products and services that are beneficial for the Tourism Sector.”