The first ever Mombasa Hotel Show, held under the theme ‘Getting back on Track’ brought together some 35 exhibitors showcasing their services, equipment and foodstuffs they offer to the hospitality industry, all of them local companies and many with franchises of international brand names for heavy duty items like coldrooms, kitchen, laundry and air conditioning equipment.
According to Slujan Events’ PR and Communications Manager Kelai Wanjiru did over 2.000 visitors come through the doors of the event at Wildwaters in Nyali to see and sample what was on offer.
The show was supported by the Kenya Tourism Board, the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers, Pubs Entertainment & Restaurants Association of Kenya, SKAL International, Kenya, the Association of Tour Operators and the Kenya Coast Tourism Association.
Sponsors of the event included such brand names like EABL, Liquid Africa, Nomadic Tents, Agency Africa Interactive, Farmers Choice and Highlands.
Speaking during the Coast Region Tourism Cocktail, Ms. Lucy Karume, CEO of the Tourism Recovery Task Force and Chair of the Kenya Tourism Federation, applauded the event organisers for putting up a show that promotes Mombasa as an investment and business destination and also shows Mombasa in good light.
She especially urged the sponsors to support the industry during both good and bad times by bringing down the cost of products. While stating the role of the Tourism Recovery Task Force, Ms. Karume highlighted that the biggest challenge the tourism industry faces is the allocation of funds and this is one of the core purposes of the task force.
She encouraged those present at the cocktail that this was indeed the time to take back their own industry before she continued to state that stakeholders must do their part, speak positively about their country and remain positive.
Organized by Slujan Events Limited, also the organizers of the annual Kenya Hospitality Trade Fair and the Hotel Summit East Africa, the inaugural edition of the Mombasa Hotel Show was put together after it emerged that there is a gap in the Coast region for hospitality oriented events that promote business and investment. The organizer saw this as an opportunity to hold a business show tailored to directly meet the needs of the hotels and lodges of the Coast region and its environs.
To promote and ensure stakeholder awareness, the organizers had also partnered with Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers (KAHC) and the Pubs, Entertainment & Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK). KAHC being the principal umbrella organization bringing together hotels, lodges, restaurants, pubs, membership clubs and prominent airline caterers from across the county, this partnership was the key to attract the main hoteliers and industry players to attend the event.
The show, themed ‘Getting Back on Track’ was aimed at increasing investor confidence in the Coast and the country at large, and giving local as well as international product suppliers an edge by providing a platform for them to engage and interact with the businesses, hotels and lodges that are based in the counties of the Coast region. This was also an opportunity for the business community to learn more about the business trends at the Coast, their needs, know how to close business deals with the entities in the Coast, and most importantly, increase their client base and make their products and services known.
The show succeeded to be the leading hospitality business to business event in the Coastal regions of East Africa and a prime reference point for any business owner or investor looking to grow their business. The show presented a holistic view of the hospitality industry with exhibitors being drawn from every sector of the industry.
In line with this, this year’s Miss Tourism Kenya will be held in December 2014, and in line with this, the Mombasa Academy of Arts has partnered with the Mombasa Hotel Show to organize and present the Miss Tourism Mombasa 2014 pageant at Wild Waters. Seen as part of the numerous efforts of the Mombasa County Government to attract local and international business and leisure visitors to the Coast region, the partnership has received very positive reviews from industry stakeholders.
Sadly though did the nearly 40 signed up participants in the half day seminar, which was to showcase three of Kenya’s foremost industry speakers on a range of crucially important topics how to drive the way how to do business into the 21st century, fail to show up on time causing the seminar to be shelved. Participants reportedly only began to arrive hours late, leaving the speakers and organizers somewhat exasperated to have made such an extraordinary effort thwarted by late coming.
Slujan Events has already confirmed that around the same time next year the second edition of the Mombasa Hotel Show will be planned while the annual Hotel Summit East Africa and the Hospitality Trade Fair will very likely be held in August 2015 in Nairobi at the KICC again. Watch this space.