KICC, tourism players bank on world travel award to recover

The centre has won Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference destination by World Travel Awards

In Summary

•Kenya was named Africa’s leading tourist destination with a number of hotels and tour operators winning big.

•Winners Twiga Tours and Baobab Beach Resort are counting on the awards in tourism recovery plan.

Image: FILE

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is banking on continued global recognition to position Kenya as a top Meetings, Incentives Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions(MICE) destination.

KICC was last week awarded Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination 2020 in the World Travel Awards (WTA), an award it has won for the second year running.

Nairobi was once again named Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination.

Kenya was named Africa’s leading tourist destination, with a number of hotels and tour operators among them Baobab Beach Resort & Spa being named Africa's Leading Family Resort.

Twiga Tours stood out with winnings in three different categories;Africa's Responsible Tourism Awards 2020, Kenya's Leading Inbound Tour Operator and Kenya's Leading Safari Company 2020.

KICC chief executive Nana Gecaga has since said the award will spearhead Kenya’s marketing campaigns, positioning the destination as attractive for Meetings, Incentives Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions.

“This, even as the destination embarks on tourism recovery plans following the Covi-19 pandemic,” Gecaga said in a statement.

The Fete was announced last week during the inaugural Africa Winners day, an initiative that offers global travel and tourism leaders and influencers a series of packages to highlight their significant success.

“We are glad to get such great recognition two years in a row. The honors are once again an indication of great and unwavering efforts by the Kenyan tourism sector to position the country as a preferred destination for business events,” Gecaga said.

This is the third time Nairobi has been named Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination having taken the award in 2016, 2019 and now 2020.

The city beat other top African destinations including Durban, Cape Town and Kigali to win Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination.

KICC had last year won the bid to host the 2020 Africa and Indian Ocean Gala ceremony, in October 2020, but due to Covid-19, the event has been pushed to next year.

Baobab and Twiga on the other hand are optimistic the awards will cement Kenya's position as a global tourism destination, as the country works towards post Covid-19 recovery.

For us it is a massive recognition and for Kenya as a top destination. This will go along way in cementing Kenya's position on the global tourism map,” Twiga CEO Minaz Manji told the Star yesterday.

Twiga has been nominated for the World Respsonsible Tourism Award set for next year.

Baobab Beach Resort general manager Sylvester Mbandi yesterday said the awards are a clear indicator that Kenya remains a top destination, with the hotel expecting international tourists to start coming by next year.

We are positive this will happen sooner than later.News of a Covid vaccine is a welcome relief. Once it starts been administrated,international market will start flying out of the their countries and we are sure they will enjoy their Diani holidays soon,” Mbandi said.

Meanwhile, KICC management has said it is looking forward to hosting the Africa and Indian Ocean Gala ceremony next year.

The event will not only be an award show but also a platform for the entire MICE industry and tourism sector to come together to showcase and kick start our major efforts and demonstrate that the country is once again open for business,” Gecaga said.