TOURISM

Convention Bureau targets top three position for Nairobi

The Kenya National Convention Bureau has embarked on an aggressive strategy development and charm offensive to market Kenya as a top MICE destination.

In Summary

The bureau has revealed it is keen to work with hotels, tourism stakeholders and government entities to increase the number of visitors into the country, with a keen eye on conference tourism.

 

The recently unveiled Kenya National Convention Bureau(KNCB) has embarked on an aggressive strategy development and charm offensive to market Kenya as a top Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.

The bureau has revealed it is keen to work with hotels, tourism stakeholders and government entities to increase the number of visitors into the country, with a keen eye on conference tourism.

KNCB targets to propel Kenya to the top 50 MICE destination globally and at least top two in Africa by 2022.

Globally, Kenya is ranked 73, in the latest industry data-The International Congress and Convention Association(2018) report.

The bureau is currently putting in place a brand and marketing strategy for MICE in Kenya, develop frameworks for coordination of MICE activities in Kenya develop an industry criteria for profiling and selecting meetings and events for bidding and support.

Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala in October appointed former Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) director for marketing Jacinta Nzioka-Mbithi as the acting National Co-ordinator for the Bureau, mandated to push for global conferences.

It is expected to market and sell Kenya as a business events destination, secure future meetings, congresses and exhibitions for the benefit of the destination’s social and economic advancement.

“The bureau will strengthen and support efforts already in place to drive expansion in the MICE sector and make Kenya a truly preferred business tourism destination,” Nzioka said yesterday.

Its core mandate includes research and planning, product development , marketing, promotion, and sales, foster partnerships and coordinate capacity development.

The tourism ministry has been keen to grow business tourism in the country where leisure(holiday) has dominated.

Business tourists accounted for 13.5 per cent of the about 1.5 million international visitors who came into the country between January and September this year, Tourism Research Institute data shows.

It is estimated that every international delegate spends at least Sh376,000 per conference trip of about three to six days, reflecting the huge potential MICE holds for the economy.

In 2018, Kenya hosted 31 international meetings and was ranked fourth in Africa (after South Africa, Morocco and Egypt) based on number of meetings held.

The country accounted for a paltry 0.2 per cent share of the global MICE Market (7% Share in Africa).

Its expansion will be a boost to the tourism sector, noting that business travellers that participate in leisure activities are growing, with 49 per cent extending their trips to include leisure experiences.

“We are keen to collaborate with our stakeholders to ensure growth in the ever-changing scope of the meetings industry,” Nzioka said.