Wambui Virginia @kuivirgie
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the world’s largest association of travel professionals, will gather in Kenya early next year for a major travel exhibition.
Its members include travel agents and companies, where different travel packages are offered, including, airlines cruises, tours, hotel bookings and rent-a–car services, among others.
About 70 per cent of its members are American travel agencies while the remaining 30 per cent are spread all over the world. Asta was founded in 1931, with an aim to stimulate the public’s desire to travel and promote the use of their members’ services.
Since then, Asta has been representing travel agents and the traveling public for more than 80 years. Together with its affiliates, it now comprises the world’s largest and most influential travel trade association with members in over 140 countries.
The group has been conducting expos in its member countries. Expo 2016 was held in Seville, Spain, where over 400 travel agents met during the expo.
During the meeting, Asta announced that the next expo would be held in Kenya after a stiff competitive process with other destinations. The four-day event will be held from February 23 to 26, 2017.
The expo is aimed at showcasing some of Kenya’s finest destinations such as the Masai Mara and the Coast. Kenya Tourism Board, through the Magical Kenya brand, is one of the sponsors of the 2017 Asta Destination Expo.
The event is quite strategic, as it aims to increase the presence of Kenya as a destination not only to the USA travel market, but also in other continents and countries that are within the influence scope of this international association.
KTB says the aim is for the visiting travel agents to generate tour packages with Kenyans and offer those packages to American tourists and other member countries and hence promote the tourism sector.