Kenya is banking on the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) sub-sector to help recover and surpass the 2019 tourism numbers affected by the COVID-19.
According to Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza, the government is working with the Kenyan Tourism Board (KTB) and other stakeholders by investing in infrastructure, security and hospitality which will attract high spending visitors and serve as a platform for hosting major international events.
“We are investing in infrastructure, security, and the overall hospitality sector to ensure that Kenya remains a top choice for MICE planners and delegates,” she affirmed.
KTB Ag CEO, John Chirchir, said the African Climate Summit currently underway in Nairobi has had a positive impact on the hospitality and tourism industry where major hotels in Nairobi have recorded full occupancy.
“Currently, the hospitality sector in Nairobi and environs is reaping big with major Hotels in Nairobi experiencing 100 per cent occupancy. Restaurants and tourism attractions in Nairobi and its environs are also expected to be full with visitors taking time to experience the destination,” he said.
CS Tourism Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza and CS For Education Ezekiel Machogu during the Africa Climate summit at KICC. PHOTO | CourtesyChirchir also said visiting delegates and visitors from the summit will have a chance to share innovative ways of mitigating adverse climatic changes that challenge their existence and ways of sustaining and preserving their businesses with less threat to the environment from the Kenyan Pavilions.
“The Kenya Pavilion serves as a gateway to Kenya, offering delegates an opportunity to experience the richness of our nation in one room, from the natural wonders of our national parks to the innovation in our ICT sector. It’s a testament to the holistic experience Kenya provides to both business and leisure travelers,” said Chirchir.
He also noted that MICE business has had a direct impact on Kenya hence positioning the country as an ideal destination for both leisure and business.
The Africa Climate Summit which is expected to record over 20,000 delegates is billed as a significant milestone for Kenya’s tourism sector and a resumption of MICE activities in the country.
Progress has been made in the sector towards recovery as compared to the worst COVID years in 2019 and 2020 where international visitor arrivals indicated a 70.4 pc growth closing at 1,483,752 in 2022 compared to 870,465 in the previous year. Arrivals for business and MICE purposes were 404,183 representing 27.24 pc of the total tourist arrivals.