•Sunset Paradise Holiday Homes director Gichuki Mwangi says it is only a matter of time before MICE starts overtaking other segments of the tourism industry.
•Kenya Coast Tourism Association chairman Victor Shitakha said Kenya’s tourism industry is leaning more towards the MICE business.
A local investment consortium plans to up to put up a 300-capacity conference facility in Shamzu, Mombasa Shanzu targeting Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions MMICE).
The conference facility, by Sunset Paradise Holiday Homes, will cost Sh100 million.
Shanzu, in Kisauni constituency, plays host to over 10 conference facilities whose combined capacity is more than 8,000 people.
Kenya Coast Tourism Association chairman Victor Shitakha said Kenya’s tourism industry is leaning more towards the MICE business.
“MICE is the way to go and with the addition of the Sunset Paradise Conference Hall, we can only go up,” said Shitakha.
Sunset Paradise Holiday Homes director Gichuki Mwangi said it is only a matter of time before MICE starts overtaking other segments of the tourism industry.
“Players in the industry have to diversify their products. MICE fills in the gaps in the mainstream segments of beach and safari packages,” said Mwangi.
He said the facility will help bring in numbers during the peak and off-peak fluctuations.
“We want to bridge the gap left after the April, August and December holidays are gone,” said Mwangi.
According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Kenya is increasingly hosting international conferences, showing the promise it holds in hosting major conferences.
According to ICCA, Kenya hosted 19 international conferences in 2015 and this shot up to 31 in 2018.
“This shows the potential Kenya has in MICE and that is why we are investing in it,” said Mwangi.
In September, Tourism CS Najib Balala gazetted the National Convention Bureau, setting pace for the formation of the key entity that will help the country bid for major international conferences.
In Shanzu, apart from the Sunset Paradise Conference facility, there is the PrideIn Paradise Hotel with a 2,500-seater conference facility, Dolphin Hotel is coming up with a 3,500-seater facility, Flamingo By PrideInn Hotel has a 500-seater facility.
Other hotels with conference facilities in Shanzu area include Serena Hotel, Mombasa Continental Resort, Kilua Resort, among others.
Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi welcome the new investment.
“It is encouraging to here that this is an effort of local investors who have come together to contribute money for the facility,” said Kingi.