Kenya generated 15 per cent profit from business travel in the past one month, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) Chief Executive Jacinta Nzioka said the virus has reduced travel and meetings to minimal levels.
Speaking during a recent zoom meeting convened by Akwaaba African Travel Market, she said she expects the numbers to rebound.
Kenya was among first African nations to fully adopt and launch Covid-19 safety protocols. The country reopened domestic travel in mid June, followed by resumption of international flight on August 1. "We encountered cancellation of some 97 events due to Covid-19, although a number of events have had to be rescheduled to later dates while others took place virtually," she said.
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Ms Nzioka noted that KNCB has mooted a strategic plan up to 2030 that will spur the sector. "The approach will include consolidation and operational excellence, innovation and development and acceleration of growth," she said.
She urged Africa member States to complement each other, to remain relevant as well as focus on revival.
The Akwaaba Africa Travel Market was graced by former Seychelles Minister for Tourism Alain St Ange who urged the African meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry to put in place safety standards that compete globally.
St Ange urged panelists to explore the cruise ship travel to create a ‘floating MICE industry.' Event's lead speaker Rick Taylor said face-to-face meetings generate up to 14 ideas per hour compared to virtual ones that generate only half.
Nelly Mukazayire of the Rwanda Convention Bureau noted that between 2017 and 2019, Rwanda hosted 591 MICE events and 110,000 delegates earning Sh20.6 billion ($206 million) that is 12 per cent of the country’s revenue.
Uganda Tourism Board Deputy CEO Bradford Ochieng said the country's MICE industry is listed sixth on the continent with 80 per cent of MICE arrivals being from Africa.