Awarded the honour of “Second Best Tourism Stand” in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) category at this year’s Indaba Tourism Trade Fair, which took place in Durban, South Africa, was non-other than Kenya. Its winning “Magical Kenyan” stand featured an authentic safari, and Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa hopes the award will help reverse the recent reduction in tourist visits to the area.
In fact, Africa tourism marketing experts are optimistic that tapping into the African market within Africa itself holds great potential. With each South African country putting its best foot forward (the SADC countries include Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and identifying what makes it unique and distinct, the intra-Africa tourism scene is gearing up for an exciting revival.
Kenya’s second-place finish at the Indaba Tourism Trade Fair is not the only award ceremony Kenya is to be associated with this coming year. Due to Kenya’s distinction as a “preferred tourist destination,” it has been selected to host the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa region scheduled to take place on October 16, 2013. Largely regarded as the ‘Academy Awards’ of the travel industry, the WTA nominations recognize excellence in tourism, travel, and hospitality. Winners of the WTA regional events, which take place in various global locales throughout the year, will progress to the “Grand Finale” at the end of 2013. This highly anticipated grand event is attended by industry and government leaders, VIPs, international print and broadcast media, and is considered the greatest networking opportunity for people working in the travel industry.
If all that wasn’t enough, in December of last year Kenya took the WTA award for “Leading Tourism Board,” followed closely by its being recognized as “Best African Tourism Board” during the Africa Safari awards, which took place in
February in London, England. This successful chain of events has boosted the African region’s profile as a safe international destination and has enhanced Kenya’s reputation as a favoured tourist spot.
According to WTA President and Founder Graham E. Cooke: “The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards programme, and Kenya as a nation has all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our Africa Ceremony – a warm, vibrant and progressive nation, brimming with enthusiasm and creativity. Tourism is vital to Kenya’s economy, contributing 12 percent to its GDP and sustaining one in ten jobs. The future is bright for Kenya, given the nation’s overwhelming natural resources, its unrivalled wildlife experiences and pristine beaches.”
Located in East Africa, Kenya is well-known for its geographic beauty and diversity, featuring white sandy beaches on the shores of the Indian Ocean, as well as the snow-capped region of Mount Kenya. In addition to its world-famous beaches and safaris, Kenya offers hot air ballooning, excursions to the world-renowned Masai Mara, cultural interactions with the locals, and five-star accommodations with superior amenities.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of 3G Direct Pay Limited. 3G provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.