TOURISM

National convention bureau launches road map for MICE tourism

The Blueprint 2030 is expected to position Kenya as a top meetings destination.

In Summary

•The bureau is the government entity with the mandate to market Kenya as a top MICE destination in Africa, and to secure future meetings to Kenya.

•The KNCB’s Blueprint 2030 focuses on four key building blocks that will support elevating the country’s position in the global sector.

Kenya National Convention Bureau, National Coordinator Jacinta Nzioka/DOUGLAS OKIDDY
Kenya National Convention Bureau, National Coordinator Jacinta Nzioka/DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) has developed a road map for the growth of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) business in the country.

This, as the bureau targets to position Kenya among the top 50 global MICE destinations and top three in Africa, as the tourism ministry targets to rise international arrivals to five million by 2025.

The 'Blueprint 2030' aligns with the government’s 'National Development Plan 2030' and the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry's 'National Tourism Blueprint 2030', which focuses on strategic principles and vision for tourism.

These are sustainability, transformation, partnerships, geographic spread, skills development, enterprise, and effective knowledge management, whilst at the same time making reference to global industry perceptions of the Covid-19 cognisant changed marketplace.

KNCB National Coordinator Jacinta Nzioka has since called for collaboration between the government and the private sector to create an enabling environment for MICE, a key segment of the tourism industry.

Since the resumption of international flights, on August 1, MICE or business remains the leading purpose of international visitors to Kenya, where the country recorded 11,696 international arrivals in September, 44.9 per cent of the total 26,018 visitors during the month.

“Maximizing the socio-economic benefits of MICE tourism requires governance and strategic partnership collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders to create an enabling environment for MICE,” Nzioka said.

KNCB is the catalyst for the MICE industry whilst hotels and venues, professional conference organizers, associations, destination management companies, and suppliers, play a crucial role in delivering international best practice standard events, she noted.

The bureau is the government entity with the mandate to market Kenya as a top MICE destination in Africa and to secure future meetings to Kenya.

KNCB’s Blueprint 2030 focuses on four key building blocks that will support elevating the country’s position in the global sector.

These are building industry competitiveness, strengthening stakeholder partnerships, accelerating growth, and increasing the socio-economic benefits of the sector into Kenya’s communities.

Globally, Kenya is ranked 73, in a recent industry data-The International Congress and Convention Association report.

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

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.

The Business Tourism Company (TBTC) from South Africa is supporting KNCB in the development of its ambitious roadmap.

Rick Taylor, TBTC’s CEO with over 20 years’ experience in the MICE industry, was the architect behind Africa’s first Convention Bureau (Cape Town Convention Bureau) and more recently established the Rwanda Convention Bureau, initiatives that have grown conference tourism in the countries.