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Tour operator Express Travel becomes Hemingways

By VINCENT OWINO

Express Travel Group has rebranded itself as Hemingways Travel as the 65-year-old company seeks to tap into new opportunities in the growing luxury tourism sector in East Africa and the continent.

The Nairobi-based company, acquired by Hemingways Group – a Kenyan hotel company – in 2009, has now changed its name, aligning itself with the Hemingways brand as a travel division, with operations across the continent.

The company attributed its rebranding to the need to adapt in response to the growth of the tourism sector. The global luxury leisure travel market is expected to grow 11.1% annually over the next six years, to reach $1.2 trillion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.

“We are now expanding our offer to leisure travelers by offering a full range of premium travel services and the valuable benefits of working with an experienced travel agent,” said Ross Evans, CEO of Hemingways Group.

Mr Evans has also launched a new online booking platform which he said will help build customer base and presence on the continent while “remaining very focused on delivery for our corporate customers”.

Najib Balala, Kenya’s tourism secretary, said the rebranding and new platform was needed, citing technology and innovation as what carried the tourism sector through the pandemic depression. of Covid-19.

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“New products and experiences are being encouraged in Kenya’s tourism sector to enable it to thrive, as governments continue to improve connectivity in the region,” Balala said.

Hemingway Travel managing director Dr Joseph Kithitu said the new platform would improve customer experience and benefit from Hemingway’s economies of scale, allowing the company to offer services at relatively low prices. lower.

“The booking platform integrates third-party tools to provide customers with unparalleled flight and hotel content and a smooth and convenient booking experience, all supported by an experienced team of qualified travel consultants,” Dr. Kithitu said. .

Agnes Mucuha, CEO of the Kenyan Association of Travel Agents, noted that local tourists had boosted the industry during the pandemic crisis, adding that lower prices would attract domestic consumers.

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes