Let me start by saying, if you do anything, do not forget to binge on my upcoming YouTube videos of my Magical Kenya experience. On my previous blog posts, I described my experience at some of the destinations I visited in Kenya as being blissful and adventurous at the same time.

About 5 days into my stay in Kenya, the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo began with all forms of excitements, dance, and celebrations. If you missed out on the event, here are a few things I think Nigeria and other countries can learn from Magical Kenya Travel Expo #MKTE2019 ;

  1. The government sees the value in her tourism and is putting in all effort to see it grow by forming strategic partners, and focusing/promoting her selling point (wildlife and beach destinations – CLICK HERE to read more)
  2. All exhibitors and visitors had a pre-scheduled meeting which enhanced ease of human mobility on the facility as well at the logistics. This reduced confusion on the part of the visitors, which also contributed to reduced congestion on the facility.
  3. Each visitor was gifted a map among-st other things to help with the ease of movement on the facility.
  4. There were meaningful engaging seminars each day of the event to help travel business owners learn how to scale their businesses in these digital age.
  5. The Kenya tourism board partnered with 3rd part logistics firm to ensure that an expert was on ground to make things seamless for all stakeholders at the #MKTE2019.
  6. An overall growth in Kenya’s aviator sector has improved ease of travel connectivity from different countries within and outside the continent of Africa which has led to the growth in international tourist arrivals by 37.33%

These are a few among-st many other lessons to be learnt by other African countries to help grow the continent’s value and demand for tourism products.

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Asides from this, during the press briefing with the Cabinet Secretary of Tourism and Wildlife- Hon. Najib Balala, he mentioned that Kenya received 2,025,206 international tourist arrivals in 2018, and he is projecting that that this increases to 5 million international tourist arrivals by 2030. Right now, the focus of this cabinet is to grow international tourist arrivals from their top source markets which are; the United States, the United Kingdom, Uganda, Italy, United Republic of Tanzania, China, India, France, Germany, and South Africa. Nigeria ranks number 14 on Kenya’s Tourism source markets, with over 35,550 visits from Nigerians in 2018. Off course this led me to ask a few more questions, which he addressed at the private interview I had with him.

Ha! yes, we had a separate interview. And this brings me to the highlights of the #MKTE2019 events starting from day 1.

Day 1

The Opening ceremony;

I went on the dance floor with the men and women that came to welcome us, because, why not? This was alot of fun, and I was a great way to start the day

Interviews:
I had a one on one interview with the Cabinet Secretary of Tourism and Wildlife – Hon Najib Balala, as well as the CEO of Kenya’s Tourism Board – Mrs. Betty Addero Radier.

(Left) Mrs. Betty Addero Radier- CEO of Kenya’s Tourism Board

It is worthy to note that Travel and tourism contributed about 107,680 jobs in 2018, which is 8.3% of total employment in Kenya.

Buyers from Nigeria
From Left: Donald Djobo, TheFisayo & Franck Olivie Kra

Day 2

My day 2 highlight was meeting and interviewing the CEO of Uganda Tourism Board- Mrs. Lily Ajarova (the interview would be available on my PODCAST), as well as having a tastes of the exhibited food, getting my first ever henna and more!

CEO of Uganda Tourism Board- Mrs. Lily Ajarova

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is looking forward to the 2020 edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo as preparations for the country’s biggest tourism and travel trade show continues unabated. The CEO of Uganda Tourism Board, Lily Ajarova, hinted Uganda’s tourism is set to host its Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) scheduled from the 4th to 6th February 2020.

The event is expected to facilitate business to business meetings which will be organized between exhibitors and hosted buyers. The international media will also be hosted to participate in the expo.

From Left: Kojo Bentum-Williams, Karina Angela Ramos, Professor Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, TheFisayo

Day 3

After all the networking, exhibition, buying and selling, the event ended with a closing cocktail and more dance!

If you were to make it for next year’s event, which of these activities would you be looking forward to? (Comment below)

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