The Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) holds at the Kenya International Convention Center (KICC) every year and this year was its 9th year running. The Travel Expo, dubbed East Africa’s fastest-growing expo attracts buyers from all over Africa and beyond, in view of promoting tourism in the Eastern region of Africa.
This year, the MKTE as it is usually called, kicked off on the 2nd and ended on the 04 of October. The opening ceremony of the event on the first day started with performances at the Presentation Theater from the Massai tribe dance group, singing a welcome song and dancing in front of the government officials present at the event and made their way to the podium.
The Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, Jimi Kariuki did an opening speech where he welcomed and thanked the exhibitors, buyers, presenters and the media for coming to partake in this year’s event.
Next, the Cabinet Secretary of the Kenya tourism and wildlife, Najib Balala took to the stage and spoke briefly on Kenya’s achievements in the tourism sector. He spoke further on how the country is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing country in East Africa and the most sought destination on the continent. After his speech, he officially declared the event open.
There were over 100 media participants at this year’s event. Media briefing and a Q&A session with the Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala followed alongside a one-on-one with the CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board, Betty Radier.
At the Presentation Theatre on the same day, the first seminar of the day was held. The topic was ‘Tourism & Digital Transformation: The Impact of Technology on Tourism’.
The MKTE was opened from 09:00 till 18:00 after which hosted guests proceeded to the Intercontinental Hotel – a few minutes’ walk from the convention centre for a special strictly-by-invitation welcome party and Networking cocktail organised by the Kenya Tourism Board.
The second day of the event was the show day. There was speed networking with potential buyers making rounds to see what the exhibitors have to offer. The day also featured the second seminar of the event titled ‘Change Makers: The Role of Storytelling in Community Based Tourism’.
The third day marks the last day of the event with a closing cocktail function. Earlier in the day, a Student Educational Programme was held for tourism and hospitality students. The students were invited so as to have a practical knowledge from tourism industry experts. This year, the Tourism Board selected the top 100, fourth-year students from the Kenya Utalii College. The introduction of the Student Educational Programme to the event was a brilliant idea. A panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session among the students and experts. The students were then taken around the exhibition floor and the event concludes with each participating student being awarded with a certificate of attendance.
The MKTE 2019 closed off with a cocktail evening function at the KICC Terrace where Exhibitors and Hosted buyers were pampered with drinks and amazing performances. Overall the evening ended with good conversations, cocktails and fireworks. It was indeed magical!