Kenya is poised for growth as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination in East Africa.
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has lined up roadshows in the US market, with other regions such as Europe, Middle East and Russia on its radar, as it continues bidding for major global and regional conferences.
The industry is looking to boost the number of international delegates attending conferences in Kenya by offering attractive delegate packages. KICC, the parastatal mandated to market Kenya’s Conference Tourism, is seeking partnerships with local stakeholders like airlines and hotels to develop these packages. Silvia Kerubo Mochorwa, KICC Spokesperson, said: “Kenya is in the process of developing delegate experience packages that include a very attractive pre- and post-conference offering, allowing delegates to come with families and stay longer to experience the magic of Kenya. Many local partners are coming on board.”
MICE delegates tend to be high spenders compared with leisure travellers. The spend of MICE delegates is around US$$3 760 per delegate per conference, according to Kenya’s 2012 World Economic Impact Survey. And, according to the recent World Travel and Tourism Council report, Kenya’s business tourism is expected to grow by 6.2% in 2018 to KES195.3bn (US$ 1.9bn) and rise by 5.4% per annum to KES330.9bn (US$3.2bn) in 2028.
Kenya will host major events for the remainder of the year that include the East Africa Mining and Energy Conference set for October 16-17, International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD plus 25), the Inter-African Coffee Organization Symposium in November and a week-long Arab Council Conference in December.
Kenya and the neighbouring countries are forming the Tourism Satellite accounts that will be able to quantify the economic impact of MICE tourism. Through this, Kenya will be able to realise the need to invest more in the sector.