KENYA’S NATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION BUREAU BECOMING A REALITY
(Posted 24th April 2017)
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala over the weekend confirmed that the government has adopted a report submitted a few weeks ago by key stakeholders from the industry, that a dedicated Convention and Exhibition Bureau is to be set up.
The function of the new body, for the time being under the auspices of the Kenya Tourism Board, will be to attract MICE business to Kenya such as major continental and intercontinental meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
This will set Kenya at par with Rwanda which has launched such an entity already in 2014 and since then successfully became Africa’s 7th leading MICE destination in 2015 with a further rise in rankings expected when ICCA will publish their annual report for 2016.
MICE business tends to bring in huge visitor numbers with substantial spending, not just for the events themselves but also for pre- and post conference tours, a spill over effect much needed by Kenya’s tourism sector.
The Cabinet Secretary also confirmed that a cabinet minute will be prepared towards the formal establishment of the new entity after it was confirmed that nearly 15 percent of Kenya’s tourism earnings originate from MICE events.
Several tourism stakeholders used the opportunity to once again appeal to government to invest in new convention centre structures, not just in Nairobi but also at the Kenya coast and as far as Kisumu. Both Mombasa and Kisumu can be easily reached by air and would offer MICE organizers a wider range of choices where to hold their events after making a principal decision for Destination Kenya.