Patrick Maina Kamanga, MD, Deans Travel Centre, this week walked away with the prestigious title of 2016 Amadeus “Mover & Shaper”.
Amadeus recently launched an interactive campaign to identify the ‘Movers & Shapers’ of the travel industry in Africa for 2016. The company asked its social media followers to recognise those people who have been true game-changers in the travel industry in Africa.
(Juan Torres, GM, Amadeus EA – left -, presenting Patrick with his certificate).
The 10 most influential leaders from Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Central West Africa, Liberia and Nigeria were featured on the Amadeus Africa blog throughout November. Over 700 Amadeus social media followers voted for their favourite candidates at the beginning of December.
Mr Kamanga was recognised for his work in the Kenyan travel industry to have travel agents’ rights heard. Together with the Kenya Association of Travel Agents, he has lobbied for a better relationship between travel agents and IATA and has built a travel agency network – the Coast Travel Trade Facebook page – to bring the travel agency community together. He also stood up to the government to see VAT in the travel industry removed, and has fought for improved flight access to Mombasa.
“I dedicate this win to the City of Mombasa,” says Mr Kamanga. “This victory shows that anyone can rise from a small town or a small agency to ‘something great’. Mombasa is a smaller city than Nairobi and to have someone from Mombasa instead of the capital just shows that the people of Mombasa also count in this industry.”
With all eyes on him, Mr Kamanga would like to urge the travel and tourism industry to rise up together and to work together as one industry. “I challenge all my colleagues in the industry not only to work for themselves, but to help others, bring others up, mentor others.”
Juan Torres, Amadeus’ GM for East Africa has welcomed the vote for Patrick. He says: “2016 has been a challenging but exciting year in travel and technology in the East African region. I am particularly delighted that the winner of the Mover & Shaper campaign is from Kenya. Travel agents from our region work tirelessly and continue adapting and evolving to ensure that they offer the best services to their customers and to secure a healthy sustainable business. I believe Patrick is an example of someone who has successfully lobbied for better relationships between travel agents, IATA and other industry bodies. As we endeavour to shape the future of travel with our partners, Amadeus will continuously partner with all stakeholders in the travel technology space to encourage and inspire others to fulfil that purpose.”
“Mr Kamanga deserves this award because he is always committed to making difference to the society, whether it’s in his professional life by promoting the travel industry and driving commercial activities, or in his private life by caring for the underprivileged of our society,” says David Chipinde, Commercial Department Amadeus East Africa.
According to Mr Chipinde, Mr Kamanga has a natural and amazing passion, which he uses to champion causes in the travel industry. “Through his strong participation in the travel industry, he has become a point of reference to his peers. He has mobilised travel associations, he has set up blogs session with followers and engaged all travel players, from the travel consultant to travel owner, in meaningful and objective discussions.”
However, Mr Chipinde explains that what truly sets Mr Kamanga apart is his objective to promote professionalism in the industry. “There is still one cause that Mr Kamanga is passionately pursuing and that is the Travel Bill/Travel Law that will ensure the travel industry operates efficiently, effectively, and professionally.”