Ministry of Tourism Cabinet Secretary (CS) Najib Balala has launched the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) 2022 at the Bomas of Kenya.
MKTE 2022 is the 12th edition of its kind and will take place from October 5 to 7, 2022 at the Bomas of Kenya. It is set to host stakeholders from various travel companies and firms within Kenya and the entire East Africa region with partners across the world at large.
Speaking to the press at Bomas of Kenya today, Mr Balala encouraged people to travel to different destinations on matters of tourism as it is a tool of peace, interaction and cohesion.
“I urge people from Kenya and everybody to travel to various destinations and explore the world. Travelling is a tool of peace, interaction and cohesion among different people,” Balala reiterated.
He asked the government to put more effort into making sure that the proposed sky policies are encouraged so as to ensure easy flight for tourists, saying that it will reduce travel regulations and boost tourism as tourists will not have difficult time booking tickets to fly to different destinations within the region.
“We cannot expand without working on sky policies or with a lot of travel regulations for tourists both local, regional and international. Air connectivity increases tourism in Kenya. I urge the government to look into the sky policy and make sure tourists get an easy time to ensure safe travel within the region,” stated Balala.
The CS named the three areas that make destinations move forward as the Digital Economy, which he said will ensure accountability and open up the market for our own products to the outside market, Sustainability and Investment.
He maintained that the government of Kenya has invested in product development and infrastructure but still has to work on its infrastructure mostly in the local areas and improve roads and rails for transboundary connectivity.
The CS named three challenges that face tourism in Africa as Security, Poor Infrastructure and Promoting Africa negatively.
“To boost tourism, Africa should work towards improving its security, infrastructure and promote it positively. Today we have the issue of Ebola which is a negative story. This and many other issues are denying us the chance to sell our products to the outside market and it is a discouragement for tourists to visit our country,” said Balala.
Balala, who was accompanied by Betty Radier, the Chief Executive Officer for Kenya Tourism Board, added that the partnership between Netflix and the Ministry of Tourism has helped a great deal in simplifying filming and encouraging the Film Industry to sell Kenya’s tourist attraction destinations.
By Emmanuel Kipkoech