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Travel Agency hosts a workshop training on regulatory matters

Kenya Association of Travel Agencies (KATA) has hosted a workshop on collective response to issues affecting the tourism, aviation and travel space in Kenya that range from regulatory environment, strategies and policies to trade practices.

KATA’s main mandates include representing members in local and international spaces, protecting travel trade through advocacy, empowering members and associations through institutional capacity building and lobbying for favourable policies on behalf of members.

Speaking today during the meeting, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza stated that the tourism and aviation industry has continued to demonstrate resilience post the pandemic period and has been responsive in embracing new technology tools.

She added that the technology tools have enhanced the travel experiences and provided more opportunities for the personalisation of the customer experience and that the data analytics will enable the sector to meet the changing expectations of modern-day travelers.

“We should continue to maintain platforms like KATA in order to provide professional guidelines and strategic inputs on issues impacting the Kenyan travel industry and as air travel recovers we must also restore traveler confidence by rebuilding capacity for safe,” said Malonza adding that the national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) plays a major role in transporting passengers to domestic, regional and international destinations.

The CS added that according to the recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) Economics aviation report released in September 2022, the travel and aviation industry has witnessed a continued recovery of passenger demand following the relaxation of the mobility restrictions in major businesses and leisure destinations worldwide.

“To enable our carriers to enhance connectivity within and beyond the region, we should continue to adopt a liberal aviation policy through bilateral and multilateral Open Skies Agreement (OSA) to give airlines the flexibility to respond to market opportunities within the African Continental Free Trade Area,” said Malonza.

Also speaking during the workshop, KATA Chairlady Ms Shazmin Manji noted that their role is to articulate the perspective of travel agents to the different stakeholders that line with them.

“Through such industry forums like the one we are having today, KATA is seeking opportunities for strengthening our approach to responding to age-old issues that have been affecting our business and this is the time for us to concentrate our efforts to unlocking the systematic bottlenecks which have inhibited our progress,” said Manji.

In attendance were, New Distribution Capacity (NDC) Programme Chairperson Mathieu Dutrisac and South Africa Airways (SAA) Chairperson Austin Nyawara, who confirmed their partnership with both KATA and KQ in enabling travelers to bundle their offers as per their preferences for it is a new shift to experience-based travel.

By Edna Okoth and Irene Mwende

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