- Kenya won the position after two rounds of voting, defeating strong bids from Thailand and Malta.
- The bid was anchored on the country’s tourism competitiveness pillars such as destination marketing, diversified tourism offerings, sustainable tourism practices, cultural and natural heritage.
Kenya has been elected to chair the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness, thanks to the sector’s prowess in the past years.
The announcement was made during the first meeting of the committee held at the organisation’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
It takes up the chairmanship for three years and will hold the position between 2024 and 2027.
Kenya won the position after two rounds of voting, defeating strong bids from Thailand and Malta.
The announcement means Kenya has received a boost in its quest to solidify its position as a leader in the global tourism industry, according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua.
The bid was anchored on the country’s tourism competitiveness pillars such as destination marketing, diversified tourism offerings, sustainable tourism practices, cultural and natural heritage.
Training, skills development programs as well as innovations and technology were also among the strengths that propelled Kenya to the win.
Nevertheless, the country’s infrastructural development strides in areas of roads, airports and hospitality facilities were also highlighted as key enablers, which have unlocked growth potential for the sector.
Mutua said the win puts Kenya in a position of decision making in matters that affect tourism across the globe.
“This vote demonstrates the confidence that UNWTO member states have in Kenya’s leadership and ability to steer the organisation’s agenda on tourism competitiveness,” Mutua said.
He added that tourism is a key pillar of Kenya economy and chairing the committee would allow synergy with other UNWTO members in shaping policy, building partnerships, and promoting best practices in tourism.
“We shall champion initiatives that will help in the creation of jobs, protecting of the planet as well as driving inclusive growth that can be felt and be impactful within communities.”
UNWTO’s executive director Zoritsa Urosevic, congratulated Kenya on securing the chair position acknowledging Kenya's remarkable achievements in the tourism sector and expressed confidence in the country's ability to lead the committee effectively.
UNWTO is a specialised agency of the United Nations, which is mandated to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism across the member states globally.