Kenya is bidding to host the twenty fourth edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in 2021.
The Tourism Ministry will table the country’s case at the UNWTO bi-annual, 23rd session this week in St Petersburg, Russia. Kenya is pitted against the Philippines and Morocco.
Kenya hopes to leverage on its vast past experience in hosting top global events to make a case for hosting the event.
“Nairobi has been the centre of all meetings in the continent of Africa. Kenya has won many awards because it has capacity to hold many international meetings. We are ready,” Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said yesterday.
The move is in line with the ministry’s long-term strategy to diversify the tourism products from the usual beach and safari tours.
On average, more than 1,000 delegates from over 130 member countries of the UNWTO, attend the five-day bi-annual meeting, translating into millions of dollars in foreign revenue for host country.
Kenya hosted the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit that was attended by former US President, Barack Obama and the 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference
It has also hosted the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development and, more recently, the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference and the 4th Session of the UN Environment Assembly.
Tourism Research Institute(TRI) data shows of the 921,090 visitors to the country in between January to June, 18 per cent or about 165,796 were here on business purpose which include meetings and conferences.