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 Toast to Tourism Gala Night, November 29th 2018

The ‘Toast to Tourism' gala celebration was held on 29th November at the Tamarind Tree Hotel, hosted by KTF. There was over 140 guests in attendance; among them senior figures from both the public and private sector in tourism in Kenya and some members of the diplomatic corps.

Guests included KTF Chairman Mohamed Hersi, Vice chair Fred Odek and, from the public sector, Utalii College Principal Mr. Hashim Mohammed, Tourism Finance Corporation MD Jonah Orumoi, Tourism Research Institute CEO David Gitonga and Quality Assurance & Classification Director at Tourism Regulatory Authority, Mr. Fredrick Jack Omondi; from the US embassy, Ms. Beatrice Wamalwa and Ms. Bradarsenault; and from the Netherlands embassy, Ms. Anja Roymans and Mr. Ronald Berkhuizen.

In line with the theme of the celebration, the program kicked off with an illuminating panel discussion on the ‘Sustainability Agenda in Tourism'.

Members of the panel took turns to each give insights into the foregoing agenda; each echoing the need for sector stakeholders to take a proactive approach in matters of environmental management and sustainable use of resources for posterity. Green energy, proper waste management, integration and support to local communities, and innovative new products are some of the principles that were emphasized moving forward.

The gala provided a platform for stakeholders to celebrate together the tourism sector's achievements this year and foster a way forward on the challenges, so as to realize our hope to achieve more in future, noted Vice chairman Fred Odek.

Chairman Mohamed Hersi challenged tourism trade operators to step up and go ‘plastics free' noting that the industry was essentially single use plastics free 20 years ago; and today, tones of plastic waste poorly disposed of finds its way into the ocean, where it has killed massive amounts of coral reef and marine life.

A vast proportion of Kenya's tourism product is nature based; and the fragile nature of these resources necessitates conservation as part of tourism to enable sustainability.

Finally, KTF awarded individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contribution through the years to the development of the tourism and travel sector in Kenya, with ‘Certificates of Recognition'. The award recipients have made great contribution in various arenas of the tourism sector including self-regulation and ethical standards, tourism promotion, support to local communities, conservation, product innovation, tourism security, funding and joint promotion of East Africa as a single destination, amongst others.

The full list of recipients is as follows:

Founder members (KATO, KAHC, KATA, KAAO, EK, MCTA (KCTA) & Kenya Budget Hotels):


1.      Mike Kirkland (1st KTF Vice chair 1999)                           

2.      Jan Mohammed (1st KTF Chair 1999)

3.      Major Kamunge                                                                  

4.      Jake G. Cook

5.      Lucy Karume                                                                     

6.      Late J.S Vohra

7.      Late Peter Karanja                                                             

8.      Lalit Jobanputra

9.      Tom Fernandes                                                                   

10.  Richard Markham

11.  TAD Watts

12.  James Ngeta                                                                                   

13.  Raphael Raini

14.  Mia Dunford                                                                         

15.  Chris Modigel

16.  Late Mike Lawrence

17.  Hon. Najib Balala

18.  Fred Kaigua

19.  Khalid Shapi 

20.  Richard Corcoran   


21.  Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO)

22.  Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers (KAHC)

23.  Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO)

24.  Ecotourism Kenya (EK)

25.  Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA)    

26.  Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA)

27.  Pubs, Entertainment, Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK)


28.  Tourism Fund

29.  Kenya Tourism Board

30.  TradeMark East Africa

The celebration is expected to become an annual event, with the second edition to be held next year.







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