Tourist arrivals from Kenya to South Africa registered a 6.7 per cent growth in the first seven month of this year.
According to regional director for Africa at South African Tourism, Evelyn Mahlaba, the number of Kenyan tourists, who visited South Africa from January to July this year rose 6.7 per cent to 15,719 compared to the same period last year.
She said majority of Kenyan tourists who visited South Africa were leisure and business travellers while the rest were on holiday.
In a statement Thursday, Ms Mahlaba said: “Collectively, their stay averaged 11 days- five more days than the previous year,” she said.
In order to build up the tourist numbers from Kenya, Ms Mahlaba said a delegation of South African Tourism will participate in Kenya’s largest travel show, Magical Kenya Travel Expo scheduled for October 12 to 14.
She said: “We are really looking forward to this year’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo which for us is a business imperative critical to the growth of tourist arrivals from East Africa.”
“The Kenyan trade show has always delivered a well-designed platform that has enabled us to generate new leads, re-connect with our travel trade and build our brand awareness,” she added.
“Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia are our core investment markets, with significant investment being poured into marketing, advertising and communications efforts which are paying off,” she said.
Support for regional initiatives
South African Tourism’s participation in the MKTE, she added, was also to show support for regional initiatives geared towards showcasing Africa’s tourism attractions to the international buyers who will participate in the show.
On the other hand, Ms Mahlaba said while participating in the Kenyan trade show, South Africa would market its two trade shows namely INDABA and Meetings Africa.
At least 180 hosted buyers from around the world are expected to participate in the MKTE in Nairobi.
Last year, the MKTE was held in the seaside resort town of Diani, Kwale County, as part of Kenya government’s efforts to revive tourism at the Coast.
But this year, KTB will host the travel trade fair at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.
The Board is targeting to attract 180 hosted buyers for this year’s Expo compared with 160 hosted buyers in last year’s show.
On the other hand, KTB targets to register 150 exhibitors for the travel trade fair compared with 122 exhibitors in last year’s Expo.
KTB is targeting to increase the number of trade visitors to 250 in this year’s MKTE compared with 160 trade visitors in last year’s fair.
In the last year’s MKTE, the 122 exhibitors comprised local, regional and international travel and tourism companies from across the world.
The 160 hosted buyers were from key source markets of Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa continent.
Exhibitors included tour operators, hoteliers, airlines, tourism boards, tourism associations, sponsors and tourism community organisations.