NEW MODEL

Kenya taps into meetings to sell leisure

Tour operators are quickly taking advantage of conferences hosted in the country to offer travel packages to visitors.

In Summary

•Kenya’s status as a top MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) destination has been on the rise in the recent past.

•The country now seeks to host more international conferences which are expected to further boost the destination’s tourism fortunes.

A section of the media enjoy a water bus ride in the lakeside of Kisumu on the sidelines of the just concluded 9th Africities summit in Kisumu. KTB hosted both local and international journalists on excursions within the city to showcase business and leisure segments./HANDOUT
A section of the media enjoy a water bus ride in the lakeside of Kisumu on the sidelines of the just concluded 9th Africities summit in Kisumu. KTB hosted both local and international journalists on excursions within the city to showcase business and leisure segments./HANDOUT

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is capitalizing on conferences and business meetings to popularise leisure activities in the country.

KTB CEO Betty Radier says tour operators are quickly taking advantage of conferences hosted in the country to offer travel packages to visitors.

“Business and leisure travel is the way to go and tour operators are making efforts to ease access to leisure attraction sites to visiting pilgrims on short notice,” said Radier.

Combining business with leisure, she added was a trend among business travelers, noting that Kenya has all the attributes for making business and leisure tourism possible in the destination.

The KTB CEO made the remarks during the international media  tour  within the lake side of Kisumu at the side-lines of the just concluded 9th edition of Africities summit.

The summit attracted over 7,000 delegates from across the continent of Africa.

During the one- week long summit, KTB, noted that visitors were able to book for leisure activities in the destinations such as Mombasa, Masai Mara, Rusinga Island, Kakamega and Nakuru among other site attractions

“As a destination, we are lucky to have hosted this event which has once again proven the destination’s capabilities to host high-profile international conferences. This presents us with an opportunity to tap into the great number of visitors to market other experiences to them,” said Radier. 

She added that in all major business destinations in Kenya, there is always a wide range of places and leisure travel experiences that travelers can enjoy capitalizing on openings.

Lake Victoria Tourism Association CEO Charles Kataro said combining business and leisure was the current practice world over terming the Africities summit a boost to tourism business in the western region.

“The summit is a major boost to the opening up of Western tourism circuit, after a lull in tourism sector.  We are opening a new chapter of business and more so with the upcoming up of convention center in the region” said Kataro.

He called on the government and other players to continue pitching for key events to be held in the country so as to increase visitation.

“The attributes we already have as a destination in combining leisure and business give us a competitive edge in pitching for big conference and events and we appeal to the government to leverage this,” said Kataro.

Kenya’s status as a top MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) destination has been on the rise in the recent past.

Currently, the destination is regarded as one of the best MICE destinations in Africa.

This is due to the uniqueness of the conference facilities and meeting destinations in Kenya that have continuously positioned the country in a very competitive position on the world map.

This rise has been thanks to a number of factors including improved conference infrastructure, positive ease of doing business ranking, and increased ICT infrastructure.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport functions as an effective air hub between Africa, Europe, and Asia. Kenya also serves as the Communication Hub of the region.

The country now seeks to host more international conferences which are expected to further boost the destination’s tourism fortunes.