Following the successful hosting of the 79th Skal International Congress last year in Mombasa, there has been a hike in number of new inquiries by international visitors seeking to come to Kenya for holiday.
Skal International is composed of tourism industry proffesionals with each country having its own set of clubs at national and regional levels.
Speaking at the Flamingo by PrideInn Beach Resort& Spa, Mombasa County, Skal Kenya Coast President, Mr Victor Shitakah said that delegates from all over the world who atended the week long annual Skal conference servbed as good ambassadors for the country.
''Hotels are reporting increased inquiries from nations that are not known to be sampling the Kenyan destination. We now have inquiries from Luxembourg, Slovakia, Iceland, Papua New Guinea and some Asian states. This is clear manifestation of the growing popularity that Kenya attained after successfully hosting the event that brought together close to 1000 international delegates,'' Shitakah said.
He made the remarks during a 'thank you' cocktail organised by Skal Kenya on behalf of Skal International to appreciate the organizations and key individuals who came together to support the event.
Among those fetted included Pride Inn Beach Resort, Convention Centre and Spa who were the official hotel host , Ministry of Tourism, County Government of Mombasa, Mombasa Serena Beach Resort and Spa, National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)and Kenya Power.
Others included African Quest, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa, Jocham Hospital and La Farge Eco Systems among others.
Skal Kenya International Counsellor, Ms Julie Dabally -Scott hailed the natioanal and county government of Mombasa for having made it possible for Skal Kenya to host the event.
''It was not an easy task. Right from the time we bidded to host the event. We got exemplary support from the government through Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Mr Najib Balala and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his entire administration,'' she said.
She urged players in the tourism industry to strive hard and ensure that gains from the successful hosting help bring in more tourists to Kenya.
'' We have seen tourism numbers picking up well in the last year and we should strive to ensure that we have better and more enticing offers to make the numbers soar even higher,'' the tourism, guru said.
Ms Anne Muriungi, Lead Consultant with Hospitality (K) Consult Limited, the official event organisers for the 79th edition of the World Skal Congress that was dubbed Skal on the Beach saluted all industry stakeholders and Mombasa residents in general for the warm welcome accorded to visitors.
Mombasa County Executive Committee Member incharge of Tourism, Mr Fawz Rashid said that they were happy to have been associated with the event as host county.
'' Mombasa and Kenya has been put on the global map and we hope we can continue to attract more of such global events to our Port city in the near future,'''Fawz who was flanked by his Environment counterpart, Dr Godfrey Nato and Chief Officer Tourism, Mr Innocent Mugabe said.
This year’s annual Skal Congress will be held in Miami aboard Royal Carribbean owned Symphony of the Seas, -world’s largest cruise ship.
Close to 1200 international Skal delegates are expected to sail aboard the vessel on a 7-night voyage as the congress takes place.
It will set sail from Miami, Florida,USA from Septermber 14th for a 7 day cruise with stop overs in Roatan in Honduras,Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico and Coco Bay ,a private island in the Bahamas.
Skal World congresses are aimed at providing attendees with opportunities for building business relationships, friendship and share ideas and business practices in both formal and informal business sessions.