Kenya to promote business tourism to diversify sector revenues

NAIROBI, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to promote conference tourism in order to diversify revenue from the sector, an official said on Thursday.

Jacinta Nzioka, CEO, Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) told journalists in Nairobi that business travel on average accounts for about 16 percent of all international arrivals into the country.

"We aim to leverage on Kenya's position as a regional business hub to increase the number of international conferences held in the country," Nzioka said during a stakeholder forum to launch the country's first convention bureau blueprint.

She said that a vibrant business tourism sector will help reduce reliance on the safari and beach attractions to lure more foreign visitors to Kenya.

According to KNCB, the traditional tourism industry is affected by fluctuations with low and high seasons and so conference tourism can help to stabilize revenues from the sector.

Nzioka said that Kenya as a regional aviation hub has an advantage over many countries because it is easily accessible from all parts of the world.

"However, we are yet to achieve our full potential as our share of conference tourism in Africa is about 16 percent," said Nzioka.

She said that conference tourism is a high yield sector because of its numerous backward linkages to other sectors of the economy and can also be combined with leisure tourism.

"We already have the requisite infrastructure including many internationally branded hotels that cater for business travellers," said Nzioka.

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