By Omololu Olumuyiwa
The Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage, Peninah Malonza, has confirmed the readiness of the country in hosting the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) and 3rd East Africa Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) billed to hold from 20th to 22nd November, 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) is a Pan African trade fair organized and hosted by Kenya Tourism Board annually.
The 13 year old event is highly structured for business, bringing in 160 carefully selected and vetted agents (buyers) from Kenya’s key source markets, taking them on 3-5 day familiarization trips to sample the product before a 3 days B2B forum with over 250 exhibitors (suppliers) and over 700 trade visitors.
The 3 day B2B forum is based on pre-scheduled appointments with a smart matchmaking tool and guaranteed meetings.
The EARTE is an event that is held annually on a rotational basis among member states of the East African Community (EAC), including Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC.
The Regional Tourism Expo was first hosted by Tanzania in October 2021 in Arusha, while the second edition was hosted by Burundi in September 2022 in Bujumbura.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), together with the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage are co-hosting the event to celebrate the region of East Africa, whose partner states have come together to embrace unity and go far together economically, socially, and specifically in the area of tourism.
Earlier at the launch of the event, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage, Peninah Malonza said, “The annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo continues to be the region’s flagship travel trade fair that brings together domestic, regional, and international tour operators, tour agents, destination agents, and various other players in the tourism trade to network and facilitate tourism business,” said Malonza as she launched the Expo preparations.
The CS explained that the 13th edition of the MKTE is another great opportunity for tourism stakeholders to connect and market their various products, noting that the expo has exponentially grown to attain continental status and that its aim is to move to the next level and become global.
According to the EAC Tourist Marketing Strategy 2021–2025, tourism contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EAC partner states at an average of 9.5 per cent in 2019. The percentage contribution was higher in Tanzania (17.2 percent) and Kenya (9.7 percent).
Furthermore, the sector contributed an average of 17 per cent to EAC total export with 25 per cent in Tanzania. In terms of employment, tourism contributed an average of 7.1 per cent to the total employment in the EAC translating to over 4 million jobs.
As Kenya hosts the third edition of EARTE, the two events EARTE and MKTE have been combined into one event, creating more value and enhancing the level of engagement at the show for all the participants.