Balala: Kenya expects 1.46 million tourists by the end of the year

CS Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala has said Kenya expects to receive approximately 1.46 million tourists by the end of the year as the country overcomes the negative effects of the Covid -19 pandemic.

Balala expressed confidence today that the destination was quickly on its way to full recovery, citing resilience, a strong destination, increased domestic tourism, and value addition to the tourism experience.

Balala told the local and international media at the launch of the 12th edition of the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) at Bomas of Kenya that the expected arrivals would amount to KSh. 265 billion.

“Last year, we recorded 870,000 visitors into the country with revenue receipt of KSh. 146 billion and by close of this year, we have better projects since things have begun looking up,” says the CS

The expo, which is the largest East and Central African Travel Trade Show, brings together over 200 exhibitors and 160 buyers from some of Kenya’s important source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, as well as other industry partners and media.

Balala stated that the participation of exhibitors and hosted buyers from over 30 countries demonstrates that Kenya continues to draw worldwide attention and investment in tourist development.

“MKTE 2022 represents the aspirations of the tourism sector in Kenya and Africa, it shows that the sector is ready to kick off and we are ready for business. I am happy to see the optimism among partners who have come together to make this event a success again,” he said.

“This is a great platform to sell Kenya to the global tourism market and we are confident that within these three days, we shall see some interesting developments as we look forward to building on the already existing partnerships between our tourism industry and global players.”

CS Balala went on to say that the Ministry has increased its efforts to guarantee that tourism experiences are not only safe and enjoyable for guests, but also sustainable and profitable for industry stakeholders.

“As a Ministry, we have been focusing on increasing our country’s value proposition by highlighting its unique offering and culture through events such as MKTE.  Earlier in the year, we launched our new strategy that will provide a road map for the sector and will shape the future of Kenya’s tourism industry,” said the CS.

He added, “We shall continue to build on these efforts to position Magical Kenya as one of the most attractive destinations for visitors from across the globe. I welcome you all to Magical Kenya and hope that you will have enjoyable and fruitful engagements during the three days of the Expo”.

According to Betty Radier, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), the 2022 expo is part of the board’s efforts to reinvigorate tourism in Kenya by focusing on Africa and other emerging markets.

“We are delighted to have the event return to in-person after two years, last year we held the event virtually to ensure that the sector did not lose out on any opportunities,” she said. “As we continue to work towards our vision of a thriving tourism industry, we are determined to support this vital sector by providing an environment that will attract visitors and enable them to connect with the best in local hospitality, culture and heritage,” said Radier.

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