When she spoke at the 20th World Travel Awards Gala last year, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Phyllis Kandie, said, “Africa is our next frontier and this is the time for us, as a continent, to leverage on each other’s strengths, synergize on our varied expertise, so as to grow our tourism sector to greater heights” .
Indeed the African tourism sector has been growing in leaps and bounds, and there are a number of events, conferences, trade shows and Expos that are available to travel industry leaders in and around East Africa, throughout the year.
Today, many small to midsize business events are conducted online via webinars and digital conferences. However, there is little doubt that there is no substitute for live events where networking, education, and marketing meet opportunities for innovation and creative thinking.
We’ve compiled a list of upcoming travel industry events in East Africa and will be attending as delegates at many of them:
xPlore 2014– September 27th & 28th , 2014 Xplore is a brand new addition to Kenya’s tourism industry. Dozens of hospitality industry suppliers, community tourism organizations, and travel service providers for East Africa will meet along with the general public in a comfortable atmosphere.
Magical Kenya Expo- October 8th , 9th & 10th , 2014 More than 150 tour operators, travel agents, and trade media from Kenya's tourism markets are expected to join in this year’s Kenya travel fair.
This event will provide networking opportunities between Kenyan travel and tourism professionals and those across the globe, thus enhancing marketing efforts and strategies.
The expo will also serve as a platform for participants to interact with consumers and to develop a clearer understanding of Kenya’s diverse tourism products.
Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival September 19th, 20th & =21st 2014 This annual event is a celebration of beach culture & music, and is organized by an informal group of volunteers including a number of individuals, local organizations, hotels, and village groups.
Fashion Week Zanzibar September 25th, 26th & 27th 2014 This event is a new initiative dedicated to celebrating fashion created in, or inspired by, the beautiful island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. The festival of fashion will be held at locations around Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago.
Swahili International Tourism Expo October 1st, 2nd , 3rd & 4th 2014 Tanzania’s first International tourism expo, this annual event will focus on inbound and outbound travel to Africa and is expected to draw tourism and travel professionals from all over the world. The Expo will be comprised of a travel and trade exhibition, along with a conference element that concentrates on tourism, sustainability, conservation and other market related issues.
Mombasa Hotel Show November 13th, 14th & 15th 2014 The Mombasa Hotel Show is the first hospitality solutions trade-show designed to meet the needs of the hotels and lodges of the Coast region and its environs.
The inaugural edition of this important event for leading suppliers and buyers from the global hospitality industry, will allow industry leaders to experience innovative solutions, inspirational ideas and unlimited opportunities to connect, all under one roof.
Kate Gathii is in charge of Sales and Marketing in Zanzibar and Tanzania for 3G Direct Pay Limited. 3G Direct Pay provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries. She has vast experience in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, in East Africa.