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Kenya set to form convention bureau to boost business tourism

By Patrick Alushula | February 23rd 2017 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Tourism CS Najib Balala. [PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO/STANDARD]

Kenya is closer to forming a National Convention Bureau to help grow business tourism. Yesterday, Tourism CS Najib Balala received a task force report detailing the roadmap to the formation of the bureau to help Kenya in positioning itself for business conventions.

Speaking on receiving the draft document from the Tasneem Adamji-led task force, CS Balala said implementing the document will put Kenya at par with Rwanda and South Africa in efforts to diversify from leisure tourism to business tourism. “Any destination that depends on leisure tourism alone is vulnerable to shocks. Business tourism accounts for approximately one-third of all international arrivals. By forming the bureau, Kenya will be best placed to bid for business conventions,” he said.

Balala said about 4,000 additional rooms will be built in Nairobi in the next three years and therefore, implementing the document will be crucial to spare them from losing out the market to other countries in Africa. According to Ms Adamji, who led the 10-member task force, in the past, Kenya has lost out on tremendous opportunities to host conferences due to uncoordinated efforts. “If we had the bureau before, some of those phenomenal events would have been hosted by us. If infrastructure is developed and peace retained, we can achieve up to 10 per cent year-on-year growth as more offerings come up,” said Ms Adamji.

In the recommendations, her team is suggesting that CS Balala establishes a National Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Naceb) either as a stand-alone government agency or put it under the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), but with its own core mandates.

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