The Kenya Tourism Board, represented by CEO Dr. Betty Radier and Ms. Fiona Ngesa, this afternoon hosted a full room of participants from the ongoing Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo, who had taken time out and walked the few hundred meters to the Imperial Royale Hotel.
Also in attendance was Carmen Nibigira of the East Africa Tourism Platform and notably the Deputy High Commissioner at the Kenyan mission in Kampala, Ambassador Robert Ngesu.
After an introduction of Destination Kenya by Betty and Fiona did a group of General Managers from Diani based resorts introduce themselves and their respective properties, most of them favourite getaway spots for Ugandans and expatriates living in Uganda. They had come from Diani to attend POATE2017 and promote regional travel.
A lively question and answer session then took place during which some candid questions were asked about the unfolding election year and the apparent decision by the Kenyan Transport Ministry to deny not only a third frequency for Emirates to Nairobi but also deferring applications of other airlines by the scores for more frequencies and larger aircraft.
It is understood that such decisions were not in the best interest of growing tourism to Kenya and that inter-ministerial discussions will take place to resolve such a burning issue by putting the broader interests of the country’s tourism industry first.
The Kenyan delegation did express their thanks to the Ugandan travel trade present who had helped to lift Uganda in 2016 into fourth position overall as a visitor source country, ahead of such traditional tourism power houses Germany, Italy or France.
Also in attendance were members of the hosted buyers and travel media who had come to Uganda to attend POATE2017 but wanted to use the opportunity to also hear from other regional countries present at the tourism expo.
Credit: Prof Wolfgang Thome