Kenya wins bid to host global tourism conference
17 November 2014, 08:13
Nairobi - Kenya has won the bid to host the Association of Tourism Association (ATA) World Congress in 2015 and will use the event to showcase the country as a final destination, officials said on Sunday.
East Africa Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the global conference will spur tourism business in the country.
"This is definitely good news for the country as we refocus on Meetings Incentives Conference and Exhibition (MICE) segment that is rapidly growing, especially in Nairobi and other major towns in the country," Kandie said.
She said the event, which will bring together close to 500 delegates from over 20 countries across the globe, is among a number of key international conferences that the country has lined up next year, a sign of expected growth in conference tourism.
The East African nation has stepped up its marketing blitz to woo key source markets in wake of a decrease in tourist arrivals occasioned by unabated spate of insecurity brought about by acts of terrorism from Al-Shabaab and travel advisories issued by countries that have provided key source markets.
Also read: Security okay in Mombasa, tourists assured
Kenya has also launched a social media campaign with private sector earlier this year as part of the reassurance campaigns. The campaign have been embraced by both the domestic and international travelers.
In addition to ATA, Kandie said the East African nation has also won the bid to host SKAL international Congress next year, in Mombasa. The conference, she said, will bring together about 1,500 travel and tourism professionals from around the world.
"We have also won another bid to host the World Public Relations Forum sometimes next year. All these international events are a show of confidence in the country that continues to leverage on its strategic position as the regional hub in hosting key international forums," Kandie said.
She lauded ATA for its effort in marketing Africa as a tourism destination and highlighting on the challenges that needed to be addressed by the member states for the growth of the tourism business.
The East African nation's tourism ministry is championing measures to boost domestic tourism. The country's marketing arm, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), is also planning to boost domestic tourism revenues by up to 50 percent in three years.
KTB is already in advanced talks with leading financial institutions and tour operators, with a view to coming up with a plan that will enable families and groups start saving for their holidays well in advance.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!