Hello dear readers, since becoming the representative of Face of Kenya UK 2014 I delved completely into my new role being a representative of the diaspora and a community champion. I have so much to share and will now share my journey as the Face of the Kenya UK with you. Face of Kenya UK is a incredible platform that builds brand ambassadors who will promote and positively portray Kenya in the UK, Indeed I was able to be an ambassador for Kenya and the diaspora at the prestigious World Travel Market at Excel last week.
What a phenomenal experience and a chance to be invited to attend as the Face of Kenya UK alongside Kenya Tourism Board, Kenya Airways and Magical Kenya. There is a plethora of information, growth and engagement I underwent and gained which I can only do justice by sharing in segments for each day. Now for those who are unaware of the World Travel Market and believe me you are not alone in that thought, World Travel Market London is the biggest global travel event in the calender for the travel industry and a unique opportunity for the whole global travel market trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business.
More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press embarked on Excel- London to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM. All sectors of the travel industry with over 186 countries were represented including tourist boards, airlines, cruise, hotels, luxury, responsible tourism and travel technology.
Tourism is among the leading contributors to Kenya's economy, Kenya tourism industry is a prime revenue earner and plays an integral role in the economic development of Kenya. As Kenya boasts of picturesque coastal lines and beaches, landscape and wildlife, it has established it's contribution to the global economy. With this in mind it is clear how intrinsic and crucial the world travel market is for the tourism sector. Kenya has recently experienced some media backlash that has impacted on tourism, the key issue highlighted being the security threat with the recent terror attacks and Ebola in West Africa. But to put these concerns to rest and inform the rest of the world at the World Travel Market platform, the Minister of Tourism, Commerce and East African Affairs Phyllis Kandie so eloquently addressed these issues and put to bed these concerns.
Speaking with exhibitors of the Kenya tourism sector, I had the unique opportunity to find out how these concerns have impacted on tourism and their view points on how to tackle and combat these concerns. More importantly they were witness to the support of the diaspora and Face of Kenya UK platform engaging in the positive representation of Kenya in the UK.
In an interview with CNN anchor and reporter Richard Quest, Minister Phyllis Kandie discussed how Kenya has battled the perception of Ebola and how this has affected the tourism industry, despite the misconceptions Kenya is indeed Ebola free with no single case.
Her message is of assurance to the tourism industry sector and Kenya that the strategies she is putting in place will move the tourism industry to greater heights. Among this is a 10 point plan to ensure growth in tourism, the establishment of a tourism recovery program that will aid the industry to recover some of the markets lost and to ensure a tourism crisis response
committee is in place to assist in responding to agencies within the sector.
At the end of Day 1 What I learnt is although Kenya has faced fresh challenges in the tourism sector, Kenya as a nation remains one the world's great tourism destinations with it's remarkable diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures, a part of our national heritage and with the exceptional minister of tourism Kenya tourism ready to soar to new exciting heights!
Join me for Day 2 at the World Travel Market, it promises to be thrilling!!
Laviniah Karanja - Face of Kenya UK 2014
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