MKTE Expected to Boost Business for Coast Hotels

Hotels in Kenya's Coast are gearing up for a business boom as the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) is held in the resort town Diani in October.

The MKTE, which is Kenya's largest annual travel show, is going to take place for the first time in the region from October 14 to 17. Atta will also be there with members on the stand No 100.

Since its inception five years ago, the Kenya Tourism Board has every year been holding the travel expo in Nairobi. This year, the marketing agency decided to hold the fair in Diani in a bid to revive the ailing tourism sector in the region.

KTB said 35 countries from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas are expected to participate in the MKTE fair to be held at Leisure Lodge. So far 170 travel and tourism players including tour operators, travel agents, and hoteliers from across the world have confirmed their participation in the Diani event.

EXHIBITORS

Some of the new exhibitors in this year's expo, he added, include German holiday airline Lufthansa and Chinese airline, China Southern Airlines.

Among the tourism boards from Africa expected to participate in the fair include those from South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Burundi.

Local tour operators, travel agents and hoteliers are also expected to participate in the expo as well as 10 county governments including Nairobi, Turkana, Lamu, Bungoma, Taita-Taveta and Meru.

"We chose Diani as the venue for hosting this year's Magical Kenya Expo to show to the world that the Coast region is safe for holidays," KTB said.

"Our aim is also to bring tour operators and travel agents to the region so that after the fair, they can help sell the destination in their countries and woo more tourists," he explained.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) said hotels in Diani are expecting brisk business during the expo. The hotel occupancy in the South Coast is expected to rise to 100 per cent during the event up from between 20 and 30 per cent currently.

The KAHC official said the expo will help revive tourism in the region as international tour operators and travel agents will witness for themselves that the resorts are safe.

"In the short term, hotels in Diani will busy during the fair as local and international travel and tourism players will stay in the beach resorts," he said.

"The presence of the global tourism players will put Kenya on the world map and help woo back more international holidaymakers to the Coast," he added.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya thanked KTB for choosing Diani as the venue for hosting the 2015 MKTE fair.

The governor said his county government had set aside Sh5 million in support of preparing for the travel event.

"Kwale County is fully prepared to host the Magical Kenya Expo as part of campaigns to revamp the sector to boost job creation, foreign exchange and our economy," he said.

"I assure both local and international visitors who will be attending the fair that our government and the county will intensify security for the safety of all people during and after the event," he added.