Kenya is Open for Business!


Event Africa Contributor 05/10/2021 MKTE

Betty Ichan, Regional Marketing Manager at Kenya Tourism Board (USA)

Everybody is coming out of the pandemic and beginning to travel so as Magical Kenya our message is we are ready, ‘Come and rediscover the magic’, says Betty Ichan, Regional Marketing Manager at Kenya Tourism Board for the US.

Kenya is open for business. That is the message Betty Ichan, Regional Marketing Manager at Kenya Tourism Board for the US, wants to convey to attendees at this year’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo.

“Everybody is coming out of the pandemic and beginning to travel so as Magical Kenya our message is ‘Come and rediscover the magic’. As a destination we’ve put in place the health and safety protocols to ensure that your clients are safe with us and we are also increasing the number of people who are vaccinated, so we want to reassure people that Kenya is ready and it is open for business.”

Luke Jones, Account Manager for KTB for the US market based in Los Angeles, seconds this and says that Africa is actually getting some market share out of the United States right now. “For the month of June we saw a 54% increase in travel to Africa from the USA and Kenya got roughly a third of that share. The US market is still performing even though in the current situation it is quite hard to travel, so I think Kenya is really reaping the benefit of staying open during this whole pandemic and I think the market share reflects that.”

Betty adds: “We already have over 200 buyers and over 100 exhibitors at MKTE so that’s already an indication that there is interest in the destination, there is interest in travel so we are really optimistic that this is an indication that the future looks good, the future is bright.”

Luke says that Kenya is perfectly placed to take advantage of the trends emerging in the travel industry: “Travel big and do fewer trips is a new trend. People are looking to stay longer and do fewer trips, especially from the US market. A survey actually found that 55% of travellers said that they would travel for 14 days or more and 60% said they would only take a few trips a year which means we have to go deeper into destinations. This is wonderful for Kenya,” Luke says, “because it offers people rich cultural experiences beyond just safaris.”

Travel with a purpose, giving back to the community, ecotourism, those are all trends before Covid but we’re seeing those really escalate. A recent survey found that 68% of all travellers want their money when they travel to go back to the local community and trips and travelling in Kenya provides so many opportunities for that.

“We are also going to see more travel outside of the high season as people become more mindful of crowds, so that’s great for Kenya as a destination too, because it has wonderful all year round experiences,” says Luke.

Betty adds: “Anytime you want to travel to Magical Kenya is a good time to travel.so I’d just like to encourage our visitors and our trade visitors to continue selling Kenya and we look forward to hosting you as a destination.”