Kenya Airways and the Kenya International Conventional Center (KICC), the country’s major conference centre, on Thursday signed an agreement to promote conference tourism in the country.
Kenya Airways Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze told journalists in Nairobi that business tourism is the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry
“This agreement will help in the recovery of Kenya’s tourism sector which has been affected by insecurity,” Ngunze said.
Under the agreement, both institutions will increase collaboration in the marketing of Kenya as a conference tourism destination.
The partnership deal came at a time when Kenya is diversifying its tourism sector to reduce over reliance on leisure tourism. The national carrier will use its global footprint to bring business delegates into Kenya.
Ngunze said in 2014, Kenya hosted over 450,000 business delegates. “This year we hope to double the figure,” he said.
Kenya has been selected to host the Africa Travel Association, World Public Relations Forum as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO) this year.
Ngunze said WTO meeting which will be held for the first time on African soil is expected to bring over 7,000 delegates to Kenya.
KICC Managing Director Fred Simiyu said that Kenya is becoming an attractive destination for hosting international conferences.
“The expanding foreign direct investment as well as the discovery of oil and gas has boosted the conference tourism sector,” Simiyu said.
He said the incorporation of Kenya Airways in marketing Kenya will made bidding for international conference much easier.
So far this year, KICC alone has hosted ten international conferences from Asia, two of which were from China.
Simiyu added that KICC will increase its marketing efforts to attract Chinese based conference organizers.
“China has a lot of high technology products and services that can be showcased in Kenya,” he said.