LONDON, November 9 – Kenya’s participants to the World Travel Market (WTM) which begins on Monday in the United Kingdom began arriving in London on Saturday in preparation for the event.
This year, 45 Kenyan institutions (up from 40 last year) are participating in the WTM which is one of the most successful businesses exhibitions worldwide for the tourism industry. With the aim to entrench their presence in UK which is the leading tourist source market for Kenya accounting for 20 percent of the total international arrivals.
The WTM is an annual event where the global travel industry meet, network, negotiate, conduct business and get updated with the latest developments in the travel trade.
Kenya participants include hotels, resorts and lodges, tour and travel operators and government institutions; the Kenya Tourism Board and the Kenya Wildlife Service
According to a statement from the Tourism Ministry, the rising number of Kenya tourism industry participants is driven by the need to recover from the post-election slump as well as keep pace with the changing consumer attitudes that emphasise value for money rather than price incentives.
“This has made it necessary for the industry to seek interaction with their niche markets in order to come up with products that meet visitor demands,” said Tourism Minister Najib Balala who is already in London for the expo.
More than 5,000 exhibitors from the travel trade representing every region, country and industry sector throughout the world are participating in the event
This year the Kenya tourism industry will be exhibiting their products in a new stand at Excel Centre in London whose design is inspired by the need to support eco-friendly and responsible tourism under the theme “Kenya Eco Village”.
“The stand features two eco-friendly tents with electric lanterns for illumination that will house the meeting rooms and the entertainment area. The atmosphere within the stand is aimed at providing a rich flavour of Kenya through use of driftwood to create a countryside effect which is common in most accommodation properties in Kenya,” the statement read in part.
“In an effort to generate more awareness for Kenya and stir heavy traffic to the stand at WTM, several activities have been planned that include daily advertising by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) during WTM days, print and online interviews with Minister Najib Balala and the best of Kenya wildlife photography competition.”