By Namulongo Peter -Nairobi November 9, 2016
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has inaugurated a task force that will review Kenya’s tourism strategy.
The panel is expected to create an institutional framework to develop a marketing strategy for convention tourism in Kenya.
Mr Balala said the group will also be expected to work with the Kenya Tourism Board to review the current tourism business strategy to position Kenya as a major convention tourism destination not only in Africa but in the world.
The task force has been allocated Sh10 million and is expected to present a report in the next 60 days.
Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, the Cabinet secretary said the National Convention Bureau has a mandate to research how Kenya can bid for major local and international tourism related events.
“In the last two years we have been holding high-profile business meetings. These business meetings not only create business opportunities in Kenya and in the cities but also bring a sign of confidence in the cities, the destination, the economy and the political leadership in the country. We want Kenya to be the preferred convention destination world over,” said the CS.
Mr Balala also said leisure tourism contributed Sh150.9 billion to Kenya’s economy in 2015, representing 40 per cent of direct gross domestic product (GDP).
“Leisure tourism in Kenya has been impacted by current global perceptions of the country’s security situation, but the tourism industry is now turning their attention to business travel segment with emphasis to meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions to plug this shortfall,” he said.
The 10-member task force will be chaired by Tasmeen Damji.
Some of its members are Charles Campbell, James Bor, Anne Murungi, Jaffers Muruiki, Mohamed Abdi, Vicky Muyanga and Mahamud Janmohamed.
Members of the secretariat include David Kingangi, Daniel Muoki and Nana Gecaga.
Meanwhile, the minister has said another convention centre will be put up in Mombasa to boost conference tourism outside Nairobi.
“I have also instructed the Tourism Finance Corporation to allocate 2.5 hectares of land in Mombasa beach to construct a conference facility. We have also instructed KICC to start planning on expansion,” Mr Balala said