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Economy

Over 40 Kenyan exhibitors woo tourists at global fair in Berlin

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. The Internationale Tourismus Boerse (ITB Berlin), entered its second day Thursday with more than 40 exhibitors from Kenya showcasing their products and services to visitors from across the world.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. The Internationale Tourismus Boerse (ITB Berlin), entered its second day Thursday with more than 40 exhibitors from Kenya showcasing their products and services to visitors from across the world. FILE PHOTO |  NMG

The global travel fair in Germany, Internationale Tourismus Boerse (ITB Berlin), entered its second day Thursday with more than 40 exhibitors from Kenya showcasing their products and services to visitors from across the world.

ITB Berlin, which is touted as the largest travel fair in the world, began on Wednesday and is expected to come to an end on Sunday.

The Kenyan delegation led by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala included a Kenya Tourism Board team, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents, airlines, counties and tourism agencies.

Exhibitors from the country showcased beach and safari products, culture and heritage, hotels, lodges and tented camps among others.

County governments displaying their tourism products in the event are Kwale, Turkana and Uasin Gishu.

Hotels included Sarova Hotel Group, Heritage Hotels, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Diani Sea Lodge, Mada Hotels, Giraffe Ark and The Boma.

Positive image

Mr Balala said: “We are riding on our current positive image the country is enjoying globally to re-affirm our position as the preferred tourist destination.

“Security in our country has significantly improved and we are banking on the calm enjoyed to woo more international holidaymakers.”

The Cabinet Secretary said he would take the opportunity to assure international source markets including Germany that the country is safe for holiday despite the August 8 General Election.

Kenya Tourism Board chief executive officer Betty Radier said the marketing agency would aggressively market the destination at the ITB Berlin fair to attract more tourists from Germany and other international markets.

“The ITB Berlin gives us a great opportunity to showcase our tourism products and services to hosted buyers and visitors from across the world,” she said.

“We are also here in Berlin to enhance our partnerships with tour operators and travel agents from our traditional markets such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and emerging markets.”

The KTB boss added that Germany was among the key markets for the country, saying they would capitalise on the Berlin show to woo more German tourists.

Tourist arrivals

International tourist arrivals to Kenya, by air and sea increased by 16.7 per cent to 877,602, from January to December last year compared with 752,073 arrivals in 2015.

The United States emerged as Kenya’s top source market after overtaking the United Kingdom, which for years has been the country’s leading market.

Arrivals from the US market to Kenya rose to 97,883 last year up from 84,759 in 2015 while the UK market had 96,404 arrivals down from 98,523 in 2015.

India was third largest market for Kenya with 64,116 arrivals last year up from 49,756 in 2015 while Uganda came fourth with 51,023 arrivals up from 29,038 in 2015.

China displaced Germany and Italy from the top five performing markets for Kenya last year with 47,860 arrivals up from 29,790 in 2015.

Kenya last year, received 43,502 tourists from the German market up from 38,236 in 2015 while arrivals from Italy increased to 35,953 compared to 33,415 in 2015.

In 2016, a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to about 180,000 visitors, who included 120,000 trade visitors at the ITB Berlin show.

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