Ethiopian Cargo and Liege Airport Celebrate 17 Years Partnership

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services and Liege Airport, the Ethiopian cargo hub in Europe, have celebrated 17 years of successful partnership. The two organizations reaffirmed their commitment to boost freighter operations and strengthen the strategic alliance that has played a significant role in connecting Europe to Africa and beyond.

Over the past 17 years, Ethiopian Cargo has played a significant role in positioning Liege Airport as a leading cargo hub in Europe. In 2023, Ethiopian uplifted approximately 160,000 tons of cargo from Liege, facilitating efficient and reliable transportation of goods between Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world.

Celebrating the estimable partnership, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, “This partnership has been instrumental in Ethiopian Cargo’s success as one of a global leader in the air cargo industry. Liege Airport provides us with a strategic location and world-class infrastructure, enabling us to offer our customers seamless and efficient cargo solutions. We are grateful to the management of Liege airport and our stakeholders for the unwavering support we have been receiving for the 17 years.”

Laurent Jossart, CEO Liege Airport, expressed his pleasure saying, “We are delighted with our long-term partnership with Ethiopian Cargo. Ethiopian is a magnificent success story and continues to grow here. The company links different continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, Middle East) with a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft. Their Boeing 777s have an average age of 7 years and are among the most efficient aircraft in terms of noise and environmental performance. We are honored by Ethiopian’s confidence in Liege Airport, and we will always be at their side to help them in their development.”

The partnership between Ethiopian Cargo and Liege Airport has been mutually beneficial, contributing to the growth and development of both organizations. Ethiopian Cargo’s extensive network and operational capabilities, combined with Liege Airport’s modern infrastructure and efficient processes, have resulted in a highly effective and reliable cargo hub.

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has proudly operated cargo flights to and from Liege Airport since 2007. With a vigorous schedule, Ethiopian operates approximately six freighter flights each day to Liege from its hub Addis Ababa and other origins operating with B777-200F and B767-300F.

Ethiopian Cargo’s extensive network spans over 135 international destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The company’s commitment to expansion continues. As of May 2024, Ethiopian Cargo added Hyderabad and Ahmedabad from India to its fast-growing cargo network, bringing its total dedicated freighter destinations to 70. Furthermore, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services envisions operating 90 dedicated freighter destinations by 2035, supported by a fleet of 37 dedicated freighters, solidifying its position as one of a global leader in the air cargo industry.

Source: Corporate Ethiopian Airlines.

Dubai Tourism signs deal to ease payments

The Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and Al Ansari Exchange have signed an agreement to facilitate payments for a range of tourism and travel-related services.

Under the agreement, partners of Dubai Tourism, including hotels, event organisers, tour operators and tourism companies, will be able to make payments for services through 183 branches of Al Ansari Exchange across the UAE.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Khalifa Alfalasi, CEO of corporate services and investments, Dubai Tourism, and Rashed Ali Al Ansari, general manager of Al Ansari Exchange.

Alfalasi said: “The partnership will take our payment system to the next level of reliability and convenience. This agreement means that our partners no longer need to visit Dubai Tourism offices to make payments.”

Al Ansari said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Dubai Tourism to enable customers to pay the travel and tourism services fees through our wide branch network across the UAE. Under this agreement, all companies, organisations and individuals working in the travel and tourism sector are able now to make payments with ease and convenience.”

Source: Khaleej Times.

MICE industry has bounced back

South Africa’s MICE industry has bounced back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gary Koetser, CEO of Century City Conference Centre and Hotels in Cape Town.

In an interview with Tourism Update, Koetser said the MICE industry “took a hell of a knock during COVID”, and that there was much talk at the time that conferencing would never be the same again.

However, in retrospect, there were many positives for MICE that came out of COVID, Koetser believes.

One of these positives was that people realised the critical need for in-person meetings and interactions.

‘Doing unbelievably well’

Koetser said that, in fact, the MICE industry was doing unbelievably well, and he provided the following stats from Century City to prove his point:

Average size of conferences has increased by 26% in Q1 of 2024 compared with Q1 of 2023.

Revenues have grown by 24% in the Conference Centre when comparing Q1 of 2024 with Q1 of 2023.

Delegates attending conferences have a longer length of stay. The average length of stay from conference delegates is 15% longer than other market segments such as traditional corporate and leisure guests. They stay for the conference and then have either added on days to their itinerary for other meetings or leisure.

11 International conferences are already secured for the next 12 months compared with six in the previous year. These conferences will bring over 6 000 delegates to Century City and amount to approximately R40 million (€2m) in revenue for the local economy.

Booking pace is up 15% this year compared with last year for the next six months (July-December), and forecasted to be 21% up on revenue compared with the same period last year.

R15 million (€758 660) investment into a new venue, The Verve, and refurbishment of the Conference Centre, which commenced in July 2023 and was fully completed in March 2024.

“Some hotels can host up to 300 delegates, maybe 350 at a push, and then the Cape Town International Convention Centre can accommodate the larger conferences from 1 500 delegates upwards. Therefore our Conference Centre was purpose-built for conferences between 350 and 1 200 delegates,” said Koetser.

He added that the Conference Centre was driving occupancy into the six or seven surrounding hotels, which are all within walking distance of the Conference Centre as well as foot traffic into the numerous restaurants in the area. Shopping at the neighbouring shopping centre Canal Walk was also very popular with conference attendees.


Koetser said Century City had coined a new phrase – ‘confercation’ – (conferencing with vacation), similar to the ‘bleisure’ trend, and that it seemed to be increasingly popular.

“We’re also seeing an increase in, and it is something that we are promoting, bringing your partner with you when you come to Cape Town for a conference. And this is something we’ll be promoting soon, partners staying for free when traveling with their spouse to a conference.”

He also said that Century City was seeing a longer average length of stay for delegates conferencing at the Centre due to Cape Town being an attractive city for both business and leisure.

SME involvement

Century City Conference Centre is currently busy with numerous initiatives to involve SMEs in the MICE sector.

“We’re creating an art gallery within our Centre, all comprising young, up-and-coming previously disadvantaged artists to showcase their various pieces of art. There’s a story of them as the artist and their background, and then a story about the actual piece of art that they are displaying.”

Century City Conference Centre has also approached other SMEs to showcase their products at the property. For example, the women in the townships who are making beaded bangles and bags.

“We’re going to give them space in the Conference Centre, almost creating a ‘mini arts and craft market’ where conference attendees can go and buy from these small entrepreneurs that are making unbelievable products from recycled materials,” said Koetser.

Its food and menus also add to the African experience in the Centre, such as a Bo-Kaap Cape Malay-type menu or a traditional South African braai menu.

‘Share sustainability ideas’

Koetser highlighted that, in addition to large corporations and associations asking for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment scorecards or safety and security measures before they could do business, they are now also asking to see data from a sustainability point of view.

“We’ve partnered with a company that provides software to measure our sustainability efforts so that we can hold ourselves accountable in terms of showing impact month-on-month, year-on-year”.

“We also make sure that we use the right suppliers that use sustainable materials and that our solar panels are working optimally. A significant contributor to our sustainability efforts is the dual plumbing system throughout our Conference Centre and Hotels. This allows the use of effluent water for toilet flushing, irrigation and potable water for taps and showers.”

He added that there is pressure on the MICE industry to improve its sustainability initiatives and that many corporations shouldn’t use it as a competitive advantage but rather share ideas and initiatives which will benefit the industry as a whole in the future.

“I think the catchphrase for sustainability going forward is going to be accountability, but also transparency,” Koetser concluded.

Source: Tourism Update.

AI Revolutionizes Baggage Handling Efficiency Amid Air Travel Surge

Despite a surge in passenger traffic, the air transport industry improves baggage handling efficiency, with mishandled baggage rates decreasing, aided by AI and data analysis technologies.

SITA, air transport technology solutions, reports an improvement in baggage handling efficiency despite increased passenger traffic. According to the SITA Baggage IT Insights 2024 report, mishandled baggage rates decreased from 7.6 to 6.9 per 1,000 passengers in 2023, even as passenger numbers surged to 5.2 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Key technological advancements, particularly in AI for data analysis and computer vision in automated baggage handling, have contributed significantly to this improvement. The report notes a 63% decline in mishandled baggage from 2007 to 2023, despite a 111% increase in passenger numbers.

The air transport industry continues to face challenges, especially with rising baggage volumes. The push for digitalization, including full automation, effective communication, and comprehensive visibility of each bag’s journey, is crucial. The survey highlights the importance of self-service technologies, with 85% of airports and two-thirds of airlines now offering self-service bag drop options.

Collaboration remains essential, with SITA emphasizing the need for better data sharing between airlines and airports. Currently, only 58% of airlines share baggage collection data, while 66% of airports share delivery data with airlines. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) advocate for full baggage tracking and real-time status updates to enhance passenger experience and reduce anxiety.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, emphasized the importance of these technological advancements: “The improved mishandled baggage rate is encouraging, especially with the increase in global passenger traffic. Investments in AI and computer vision technologies, along with better collaboration and communication, are essential for smoother operations and better passenger experiences.”

Regional Insights

North America: The baggage mishandling rate dropped from 7.1 per 1,000 bags in 2007 to 5.8 in 2023, with U.S. airlines reducing mishandling by 9% in 2023.

Europe: The region saw the largest global decrease, from 16.6 per 1,000 bags in 2007 to 10.6 in 2023.

Asia Pacific: Maintained the lowest mishandling rates globally, at 3.0 per 1,000 bags in 2023, reflecting successful digitalization investments.

Source: Data Q

EAC renews joint tourism marketing as Kenya taps influencers

East Africa has revived plans to jointly market the region’s tourism as a bloc, in what could end a decade-long of back and forth among member states, as rivalry played out.

The marketing push builds on the 2023 East African Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) and the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE), where EAC member states agreed to enhance collaboration and adopt an integrated tourism marketing strategy, in order to boost competitiveness, attract more tourists and increase earnings.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are leading the drive under a new EAC brand “Visit East Africa – Feel the Vibe”, launched in November during the regional expo in Nairobi, aimed at promoting the bloc as a single investment and travel hub.

The latest development come even as rivalry remains between Kenya and Tanzania, the biggest safari and beach destinations in the region.

The two countries share the annual wildebeest migration between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park, recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

Tanzania has been taking advantage of Kenya’s costly products, mainly safari which includes high park entry fees and accommodation packages, to lure international guests to the Serengeti and other destinations.

This, even as the region faces stiff competition from other blocs in Sub-Sahara Africa, which are said to be taking advantage of EAC’s lengthy business procedures, insecurity and poor infrastructure to boost their competitive edge.

According to the World Economic Forum, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi have been trailing tourism giants such as Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa, which have been a threat to EAC’s plans to position the region as the continent’s most attractive tourist destination, an idea mooted a decade ago.

Under the renewed marketing efforts, the EAC is now targeting to attract over 14 million international tourists annually by 2025, from 7.2 million in 2019.

Kenya, on its part, aims to capitalise on this collective momentum in its quest to achieve 5.5 million arrivals and $6.3 billion (Sh 827.6 billion) in tourism earnings by 2028.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a strategic marketing campaign that involves influencers, to bolster Kenya’s tourism not only globally, but also within the East African Community market.

The board is partnering with renowned social media influencers and key media outlets from EAC member countries with an aim to elevate destination visibility, ignite travel interests and unearth new growth prospects.

Speaking during an event held to welcome the influencers and media contingent, KTB CEO June Chepkemei said that the EAC market has great potential for growth especially through regional integration.

She added that strategic deployment of marketing assets such as influencer marketing and media outreach can be pivotal drivers to spur demand and unlock new markets.

“The East African Regional Tourism Expo deliberations were a stepping stone to greater regional integration. The launch of the unified EAC tourism brand was an apt embodiment of this vision, and this influencer activation and media outreach is designed to further harness our collective strength for mutual benefit,” Chepkemei said.

According to last year’s tourism performance report, four of the top ten source markets to Kenya were from the EAC region – Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, and Rwanda,  highlighting the potential for growth.

 “With a shared history and cultures, the EAC region is uniquely positioned to offer diverse, multi-country itineraries that capture the imagination of travellers,” said Chepkemei.

Popular social media personalities and content creators from target EAC markets will highlight key attractions across various tourism hotspots spanning from Nairobi, Mt. Kenya, the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru as well as the Coast.

East African Business Council (EABC) has been pushing for the marketing of the region as a single destination, as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) takes shape.

Tourism, financial sector, manufacturing and hospitality are some of the sectors that EAC member states can package together to the world, according to Chairperson Angelina Ngalula.

“East African countries have abundant resources with unique features from the coast of the Indian Ocean in Kenya and Tanzania, to mountain gorillas in Rwanda, an opportunity for companies to offer regional tourism packages,” Ngalula said.

Source: The Star.

African airlines headed for 100 million passengers milestone

African airlines are likely to cross the 100 million passengers mark for the first time in 2025, on the back of an aggressive push to open new routes and increased frequencies by local carriers.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) projects the passenger numbers will reach 98 million by close of the year 2024 – a 15% rise compared to 2023 figures and more than the highest ever figure of 95 million, recorded in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite ongoing post-pandemic hurdles, the airline sector sustained its recovery momentum this year, witnessing a resurgence in passenger demand…signifying a strong recovery for the industry,” said AFRAA in latest industry report.

From the smallest to the largest, Africa’s airline operators are almost all increasing routes and frequency, mostly concentrated within the continent. The trend expected to boost Intra-Africa connectivity.

According to AFRAA, Intra-Africa connectivity surged across regions, with major hubs such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Abidjan, and Lome witnessing a notable uptick in connectivity.

Ethiopian Airline is leading local carriers in regional expansion as it eyes a 30% growth in passenger numbers by mid 2024.

Among the airline’s latest route expansion include start of three-weekly services to Maun, its second destination in the Republic of Botswana after Gaborone this June.

In May, the airline launched another thrice weekly passenger services to Freetown, Sierra Leone via Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

“Ethiopian Airlines, committed to its Pan-African roots, continues to connect every part of Africa and beyond,” Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mesfin Tasew said during the launch of Maun route.

Ethiopian Airline which champions a vast intra-Africa network operating to more than 60 destinations in the continent, airlifted about 13.9 million passengers in the year ending June 2023.

Over the past year, the airline has also launched to new international routes including London Gatwick, resumed schedules to destinations like Madrid and Bangui, and increased frequencies on existing routes like Addis Ababa-Seoul.

Kenya Airways is also strengthening its network in the continent with plans to begin a new route connecting Nairobi directly to Maputo, Mozambique starting June 14, 2024. The national carrier cited the expansion as due to growing demand for travel between East and Southern Africa.

“The demand for air travel is soaring, and we’re determined to meet it by expanding our reach and fostering connections between Africa’s rich cultures and thriving economies,” said Kenya Airways Chief Commercial and Customer Officer, Julius Thairu in a statement.

In Northern Africa, Royal Air Maroc has announced the launch of three new air routes – regional and international linking Casablanca to Naples, Manchester and Abuja from 22 June 2024 – as part of the carriers development plan to open up air routes in several promising markets.

“The launch of these routes aims to strengthen our continental positioning in favour of the African Diaspora, particularly in Nigeria,” said Royal Air Maroc Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hamid Addou.

Other industry reports also point to growing passenger numbers across the continent and regional borders.

In early 2024, data from the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) indicated a significant surge in African air travel, with over two million weekly internal seats being filled in the week starting December 18, 2023, underscoring the growth of intra-African connectivity.

According to CAPA’s data, Ethiopian Airlines emerged as the dominant carrier in the intra-African market, capturing a 14.4% share of capacity in the week beginning January 15, 2024, representing an 11.0% increase from the corresponding week in 2023.

No other airline holds a double-digit share of capacity, with South Africa’s FlySafair being the closest contender at 9.0%, followed by Nigeria’s Air Peace (5.4%), the fast-growing regional carrier Airlink (South Africa) (4.9%), and other major international airlines in the region: EgyptAir (4.4%), Kenya Airways (4.2%), and Royal Air Maroc (3.7%).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects a 9.1% increase in African airline capacity in 2024, outpacing the 8.5% demand growth defying high operational costs, low consumer spending on air travel, and connectivity issues, that it said hinder the industry’s expansion and performance.

“Despite these headwinds, there is sustained demand for air travel, which should allow the market to deliver a second year of profitability,” according to IATA.

AFRAA’s estimates show that operating revenue for March 2024 amounted to US$1.74 billion, reflecting a growth of 26% from US$1.39 billion in March 2023.

Source: Independent.  

Kenya Airways to Lead Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative in Africa.

Nairobi – Kenya Airways (KQ) has been selected as the sole African airline to lead the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Registry, marking a notable advancement in African aviation.

This recognition follows the national carrier’s receipt of the Most Impactful Breakthrough award for its pioneering use of SAF on a long-haul flight from Africa to Europe in October 2023.

“By taking on a pivotal role in developing the registry, KQ significantly builds trust and confidence in SAF as a viable solution for reducing aviation’s environmental impact,” said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka.

SAF is anticipated to contribute up to 65% of the total carbon reduction required to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in air transport by 2050. The SAF registry, set to launch in the first quarter of 2025, will allow airlines worldwide to purchase SAF regardless of production location, ensuring they can claim the environmental benefits for regulatory compliance.

“SAF is crucial to aviation’s decarbonization,” stated Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. Adding: “Airlines are eager for more SAF and are ready to utilize every available drop. The SAF Registry will fulfill the essential needs of all stakeholders in the global effort to increase SAF production.” Walsh also emphasized the need for a reliable system to monitor SAF quality and quantities. “Governments need a trusted system to track SAF usage. Producers must accurately report deliveries and decarbonization efforts. Corporate customers should transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions. And airlines must be certain they can claim the environmental benefits of their SAF purchases,” he expressed.

The registry’s development is supported in its pilot phase by seventeen national airlines, including the IAG airline group, six national authorities, OEMs like Airbus, Boeing, and GE Aerospace, and fuel producer World Energy. These collaborations aim to ensure compliance with regulations set by civil aviation authorities such as ICAO’s CORSIA scheme and the EU ETS, meet SAF mandates, and provide transparency regarding emissions reductions.

Focused on compliance, transparency, and government collaboration, the registry will create a robust, accountable system that accelerates SAF adoption and promotes a more sustainable future for aviation. Kenya Airways ranks most efficient airline Earlier this year, Kenya Airways was ranked the second most efficient airline in Africa in the latest On-Time Performance Review report. KQ attained an impressive 71.86% on-time arrival rate from the 41,905 flights it completed in 2023. The airline has significantly reduced its losses, with the loss after tax dropping by 41% to KSh 23 billion in its full-year 2023 financial results compared to KSh 38 billion in 2022.

In 2023, Kenya Airways recorded an operating profit of KSh 10.5 billion in 2023, marking a substantial 287% increase from the previous year.

Source: Tuko.

Kenya’s Growing Tourism Market: Trends, Drivers, and Future Prospects

Kenya, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, iconic wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, has experienced a robust growth in its tourism market in recent years. This expansion is fueled by strategic initiatives, diversified offerings, and a global reputation for unique travel experiences. This article delves into the factors driving the growth of Kenya’s tourism market, current trends, and the future prospects for this dynamic industry.

Drivers of Growth in Kenya’s Tourism Market

1. Diverse Natural Attractions

Kenya’s natural beauty is a primary magnet for tourists. The country boasts diverse ecosystems, from the arid landscapes of the north to the lush coastal regions, and from the iconic savannas of the Maasai Mara to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya. This diversity supports a wide range of tourism activities, including:

Wildlife Safaris: Kenya’s extensive network of national parks and reserves, such as Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo, offers unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities. The annual Great Migration of wildebeest in the Maasai Mara is a global spectacle that attracts thousands of visitors.

Beach Tourism: The Indian Ocean coastline, with its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and historical sites like Lamu Island, is a haven for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Adventure Tourism: Activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, and diving cater to adventure seekers. Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak, is a popular destination for mountaineers.

2. Cultural and Heritage Tourism

Kenya’s rich cultural mosaic, with over 40 ethnic groups, offers a vibrant cultural tourism experience. Traditional music, dance, art, and crafts provide deep insights into Kenya’s cultural heritage. Cultural festivals, such as the Lamu Cultural Festival and the Lake Turkana Festival, celebrate diverse traditions and attract international visitors.

3. Strategic Marketing and Brand Positioning

Kenya’s tourism authorities have invested significantly in marketing campaigns to enhance the country’s global image. The “Magical Kenya” brand has been instrumental in promoting Kenya as a destination for diverse experiences. Digital marketing, social media engagement, and partnerships with international travel influencers have expanded the reach to younger, tech-savvy travelers.

4. Improved Infrastructure and Connectivity

Significant improvements in infrastructure have bolstered Kenya’s appeal as a tourist destination. Upgraded airports, better road networks, and increased flight connectivity have made travel more accessible and convenient. Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) serves as a major hub, connecting Kenya with key international markets.

5. Government Support and Policy Initiatives

The Kenyan government has played a pivotal role in promoting tourism through supportive policies and investments. Initiatives such as the National Tourism Blueprint 2030 outline strategic goals for diversifying tourism products, enhancing destination marketing, and improving regulatory frameworks to support sustainable tourism growth.

Current Trends in Kenya’s Tourism Market

1. Rise of Eco-Tourism and Sustainable Practices

Eco-tourism is gaining momentum as travelers become more environmentally conscious. Kenya’s eco-lodges, community conservancies, and wildlife conservancies exemplify sustainable tourism practices. These initiatives not only provide authentic experiences but also contribute to conservation efforts and local community development.

2. Growth in Domestic and Regional Tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of domestic and regional tourism. Restrictions on international travel led to a surge in local tourism, with Kenyans exploring their own country. Regional tourism within the East African Community (EAC) also saw growth, facilitated by collaborations and joint marketing efforts.

3. Expansion of Niche Tourism Segments

Kenya is diversifying its tourism offerings to cater to niche markets. Bird watching, sports tourism, wellness retreats, and cultural tourism are emerging segments that attract specialized interest groups. Bird watchers are drawn to Kenya’s rich avian biodiversity, while sports enthusiasts participate in events like the Nairobi Marathon and the Lewa Safari Marathon.

4. Digital Transformation and Innovation

The integration of digital technology is transforming the tourism experience. Online booking platforms, virtual tours, and augmented reality (AR) experiences are enhancing customer engagement. Innovations such as cashless transactions, digital guides, and interactive apps are streamlining travel and enhancing visitor satisfaction.

Future Prospects and Strategic Vision

Kenya’s tourism market is poised for sustained growth with a strategic vision that emphasizes sustainability, diversification, and resilience. Key areas of focus for the future include:

1. Enhancing Sustainable Tourism

Sustainability remains a cornerstone of Kenya’s tourism strategy. Efforts to minimize environmental impact, support wildlife conservation, and promote responsible tourism practices will continue to be prioritized. Community-based tourism initiatives will ensure that local populations benefit from tourism revenues and are active participants in conservation efforts.

2. Leveraging Technology and Innovation

Advancements in technology will play a crucial role in shaping the future of tourism in Kenya. Investments in digital marketing, smart tourism infrastructure, and data analytics will enhance destination management and marketing effectiveness. Virtual reality (VR) and AR technologies will provide immersive previews of attractions, attracting potential visitors.

3. Expanding and Upgrading Infrastructure

Continued investment in infrastructure, including transportation networks, accommodation facilities, and digital connectivity, will be essential to support tourism growth. Plans for new airports, road improvements, and enhanced public transportation will improve accessibility and visitor experiences.

4. Promoting Cultural and Experiential Tourism

Efforts to promote cultural tourism will involve showcasing Kenya’s diverse heritage, traditions, and contemporary arts. Developing authentic cultural experiences, supporting local artisans, and integrating cultural elements into tourism products will enrich the visitor experience.

5. Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships

Collaboration between government agencies, private sector stakeholders, and local communities will be crucial for sustainable tourism development. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) will drive investment, innovation, and effective management of tourism resources.

Kenya’s growing tourism market reflects the country’s ability to harness its natural and cultural assets to create compelling travel experiences. With a strategic focus on sustainability, innovation, and diversification, Kenya is well-positioned to capitalize on emerging trends and continue its trajectory as a leading global tourism destination. As the country navigates future challenges and opportunities, the tourism sector will remain a vital pillar of Kenya’s economy and a gateway to its extraordinary natural and cultural treasures.

Later this year the country will proudly host the Africa Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards on the 18 October 2024 at Diamonds Leisure Beach & Golf Resort Diani Beach.

Source Breaking Travel News.  

Tourism board eyes regional markets for growth

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is targeting to increase its marketing activities in order to boost arrivals from the region.

Through the use of local influencers, KTB expects regional countries to contribute a significant portion of 5.5 million arrivals and $6.3 billion in tourism earnings by 2028 according to KTB Chief Executive Officer June Chepkemei.

Chepkemei says strategic deployment of marketing assets such as influencer marketing and media outreach is critical in unlocking new markets within the East African Community (EAC).

“With a shared history and cultures, the EAC region is uniquely positioned to offer diverse, multi-country itineraries that capture the imagination of travelers. By collaborating with influencers and media from key markets, we can shine a spotlight on the breadth of experiences available across the region and inspire new interest in visiting,” said Chepkemei.

The EAC region has set a goal to attract at least 14 million international tourists annually by 2025, from 7.2 million in 2019.

The strategic marketing campaign unveiled by the board has brought together renowned social media influencers and key media outlets from EAC member countries with an aim to elevate destination visibility, ignite travel interests, and unearth new growth prospects.

The influencers are expected to market key attractions across various tourism hotspots spanning from Nairobi, Mt. Kenya, the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru as well as the Coast.

“We have tailored exclusive itineraries for the influencers and media contingent to showcase the diversity of experiences Kenya offers. With their large social media following and ability to create trending content, we are confident that collaborating with these key personalities will catalyse interest in visiting Kenya,” added Chepkemei.

Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, and Rwanda emerged among Kenya’s top ten tourism source markets last year with potential for growth.

Source: KBC

Kenya Airways-KATA deal to spur economic growth – Kenya News Agency

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kenya Airways to foster collaboration in their operations.

This strategic collaboration, initiated by travel agents, aims to bolster the national carrier’s market presence and strengthen its competitive position within the industry.

This partnership is expected to bring about significant benefits for both parties, leveraging the expertise and networks of travel agents to drive the growth and innovation of Kenya Airways.

Speaking at the 44th Annual Travel Convention and General Meeting under the theme ‘Make the Connection’ held at Sarova Whitesands, Mombasa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KATA, Nicanor Sabula, highlighted the substantial impact of recent government policy changes, technological advancements, and the overall growth of the industry.

He noted that these developments are shaping the future of travel, requiring stakeholders to adapt and innovate in response to the evolving landscape.

The meeting brought together more than 300 delegates representing the travel agency community.

“We have invited our colleagues from six of our neighbouring African countries, representing Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, so that we can share knowledge to be able to make the connection alongside growing our Intra- Africa Travel,” Sabula said.

He noted that they had also discussed the contemporary issues emerging in society, including Artificial Intelligence and how it can be used to support businesses.

He highlighted that the industry’s statistics indicate that Kenya has recovered and surpassed the pre-pandemic numbers by approximately 30 per cent. Initially, the recovery was projected to be achieved by 2025; however, by the end of 2023, the sector had already experienced a 30 per cent recovery, demonstrating a faster-than-expected rebound.

Patrick Bucha, Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to broadening the industry’s scope through medical tourism advocacy and exploring unconventional offerings beyond traditional staples.

“This forward-thinking approach underscores the government’s dedication to catering to the evolving needs and preferences of global travelers,” he stated.

He highlighted that a key focus area is developing and marketing Kenya as the “Home of Human Origins,” leveraging our rich heritage and cultural tapestry to offer an immersive journey into the cradle of humanity. Through this initiative, the aim is to captivate visitors with an unparalleled exploration of our nation’s historical and anthropological significance.

Moreover, Bucha noted that the Ministry recognises the private sector’s invaluable role in driving this transformative vision. It is eager to foster close collaborations with the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA), harnessing their expertise and insights to craft innovative tourism experiences that resonate with diverse audiences.

The Chairman of KATA, who is also the Managing Director of Hemingways Travel, Joseph Kithitu, highlighted on the importance of leading the change in advocating for a shift in mindset to be able to be embraced as travel advisors by travel agents, as that aligns with the changing landscape and reflects the role they play in the travel industry.

Regarding infrastructure, Kithitu said that the infrastructure development to expand the travel and tourism industries has been steadily progressive. However, he called for the acceleration of this to maximise the benefits that come with it, stimulate growth in the tourism sector, and increase economic benefits for the nations.

The Group Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways (KQ), Allan Kilavuka, addressed the importance of the collaboration with the Kenyan Travel Advisors, noting that KQ recognises the crucial partnership with the advisors in the aviation industry.

Kilavuka expressed that, in line with the convention’s theme ‘make the connection’ he commits to forging deeper synergies between KQ and KATA to unlock new opportunities to elevate the entire travel ecosystem.

“This recent period has been an eventful chapter for Kenya Airways, marked by significant strides, overcoming challenges, and setting our sights on new horizons. We recorded a full-year operating profit of Sh10.5 billion, a swing of Sh16 billion from a loss of Sh5.6 billion reported in 2022! This remarkable feat speaks volumes about the commitment and diligence of every member of the KQ family,” Kilavuka said.

SourceKenya News