NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – Over 500 delegates are expected in the country to attend the 79th Skål International World Congress 2018 in Mombasa County this October.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says the government has set aside Sh25 million for the event that is seen to open up Kenya to the world.
Skål is a body that incorporates tourism players both in travel and hospitality sectors.
“The over 500 delegates will be ambassadors of Kenya’s destination throughout the world. This event is important for us,” Balala said adding that the event will help the country meet its 18 per cent increase in tourist targets for 2018.
He says by the year 2022, the country hopes to hit 2.5 million tourists yearly.
Kenya received ratification at the 78th Skål International World Congress in Hyderabad, India on October 7, 2017 to host the Skål International World Congress 2018 in Mombasa after it was cancelled in 2015 due to insecurity.
“This event is an endorsement that Kenya’s security is now top notch. We are happy that the County Government of Mombasa has invested in giving Mombasa a facelift ahead of the congress,” Balala added.
On his part, Skål Kenya National President Silvester Mbandi urged the delegates to have the safari experience.
“We urge the delegates to indulge in pre and post tours to the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park at the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, the immense Tsavo National Park, the Great Rift Valley and its stunning lakes, Equatorial forests of the Aberdares and Mt Kenya,” Mbandi said.
Statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate robust growth in accommodation and food service activities in the first quarter of 2018 but comparably slower than the level realised in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
During the quarter, the sector is estimated to have expanded by 13.5 per cent compared to 24.5 per cent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2017, which was mainly on account of a rebound experienced in that quarter.
“The sector’s performance is stabilizing following reform initiatives, restored security and investment opportunities in the sector,” KNBS data states.
During the review period, accommodation activities greatly improved, evidenced by the increase in the hotel occupancy level and the number of visitors’ arrivals through the two main international airports that went up by 5.8 per cent in the review period.