Kenya’s MICE Sub- Sector Gains Momentum in 2023

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) subsector is recording momentum in Kenya as global conferences and events continue to drive significant increase in arrivals.

The Kenyan capital has attracted several high-profile conferences and events in recent months, with Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Ag. CEO, John Chirchir, noting that the Nairobi is fast becoming a focal point for regional and international gatherings given its facilities and central location.

“This year, we have witnessed an increase in international conferences and events hosted in Nairobi. Recently, we hosted the inaugural Africa Climate Summit which brought together close to 30,000 delegates and several heads of states. This was a remarkable achievement, especially coming from the pandemic period when physical events had been halted. We also recently hosted the East Africa Regional tourism Expo (EARTE) which brough together 310 exhibitors and 109 key travel trade from 32 countries.” noted Chirchir.

He was of speaking on the final day of the Youth Connect Summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) between 8-12 December. Chirchir emphasized the strategic efforts by the board to actively promote Nairobi as a top-tier destination for global conferences, adding that the summit is a welcome opportunity to showcase the city’s immense potential on the international stage.

“We are thrilled to have hosted the Youth Connect Summit to Nairobi, with youth leaders from all 54 African nations coming together for this important event,” said Chirchir. “With 34 countries confirmed to have participated, this will be was one of largest and diverse conferences we have held recently. It is a testament to Kenya’s appeal as a prime conferencing destination. We expect hotels in Nairobi to be full during this period and tourism businesses to reap the benefits of the event.

The convention adds on to the tourism marketing agency’s efforts of seeing more business events hosted in the country, including the setting up of an events-led marketing calendar and actively participating in international trade shows and exhibitions.

According to Kenya’s tourism sector performance report 2022, visitors on business and MICE accounted for 27.2% of the total international arrivals in 2022. This is a significant improvement compared to 2019 where the market segment accounted for 13.5% of the total arrivals.

“In Nairobi, there is something for every traveler – from nature lovers to culture aficionados, business travelers to backpackers. It is a city full of life, ready to be explored. We invite the attendees to venture beyond the conference halls and experience the unique allure that Nairobi has to offer,” Chirchir remarked.

The convention played a pivotal role in fostering connections among young leaders, with Chirchir expressing optimism in its potential to spur intra-Africa tourism. “Events like these strengthen ties between African countries and youth groups, expose them to the tourism potential that exists right here on the continent, and motivate them to become ambassadors for domestic and regional tourism. With discourse on intra-Africa travel taking centre stage, there stands a tremendous opportunity for collaboration and growth. “He said.

Voice of Tourism

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