The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) held its 42nd Annual General Meeting on September 24, 2022 at the Movenpick Hotel in Nairobi.
The event brought together the travel industry’s most senior leaders from among KATA’s member travel agencies, as well as leading corporate organizations and KATA’s strategic partners. The event was sponsored by Sabre Corporation, a leading travel technology company, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism and Kenya Airways.
While addressing the travel industry, KATA Chairperson Ms Shazmin Manji thanked the sponsors for partnering with KATA to make the event successful. She also lauded them for the role they have played in helping the travel industry build back sustainably.
“During this Financial Year (FY2021), we continued to ensure that the importance of a thriving and sustainable Travel Sector is understood and valued. We are proud to have continued to deliver for our members during these past challenging 12 months and we are determined to keep on delivering and building on our 42-year legacy,” Said Ms Shazmin Manji, Chairperson KATA, adding that, “The travel industry is resilient. Passenger traffic has recovered – and in growing numbers, and our members’ businesses are rebounding. Both within our own businesses and across our sector, as well as across KATA, this has been a year of building back sustainably, a year of collaboration and pulling together for the greater good. It has been a year of precedent resulting in a robust marketplace growth.”
Ms Manji also expressed cautious optimism on the recovery of the travel industry in Kenya strongly citing the risk factors that might affect the gains made by the industry.
- The impact of the war in Ukraine causes among the many other negative impacts for Kenya’s travel industry, rising fuel costs and a dampening travel demand due to lowered consumer sentiment.
- The rising Interest rate and Exchange rate as the CBK works to combat inflation is harmful and has an economic dampening effect by reducing purchasing power. There is downside risk to this should inflation continue to rise, and CBK interest rates continue to hike.
Ms Manji also expressed her optimism that Kenya’s new leadership will have a positive impact on the inbound and Outbound tourism industry:
“We are also in a transition period to new national leadership in the country and we hope that this will not impact the travel industry adversely. This outlook notwithstanding, the desire to travel and the necessity of moving goods remain solid. Which is why as a travel trade we must take our lessons from Covid-19 and we must be clear with the government on what is needed from regulation,” said Ms. Manji.
During the AGM, the industry players voted on all key resolutions that would see KATA strengthen its position as the leading voice of the travel industry. The General Meeting also approved the Association’s Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year 2021. The General Meeting also approved the re-election of Mr. Shilen Jobanputra and Ms. Tracy Scott as Board Directors on a 2-year term. Mr. Said Tahir was also elected to the Board of Directors.