Monday, 8 September 2014

MATCHING MICE CLIENTS’ NEEDS WITH STUNNING VENUES IN KENYA.


The journey of a thousand memories starts in Kenya, which has been mapped as one of the greatest destinations in the world. Just as the colors of her national flag flaunt gaudily to blend in the diversity therein, so is the atmosphere that nurtures your primal instincts, a million steps away home. Garnishing a cocktail of gin and dry vermouth with a bed of ice cubes while overlooking the city under the sun sounds a deal too good, fortunately it is real. Imagine the euphoria that is to do business, wine, meet, do and dine or wake to a champagne buffet breakfast, altogether viewing the tides of the Indian Ocean swash back and forth. This is the feeling the Kenyan hospitality industry continues to offer so selflessly to the world, and rising even higher to win the acclaim of millions more souls.
As a country before we launch ourselves as competitive MICE destination it is essential to examine our natural strengths and determine our future as MICE destination examining the following:
  1. Is the destination easily accessible?
  2. Do we have the necessary top class facilities and attractions?
  3. Is the destination receiving  support by the government?
  4. What is our unique local appeal?
  5. Do we have an attractive image?
  6. How competitive are we with the neighbouring destinations?
Accessibility
The new terminal, Terminal 1 at JKIA
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport serves as the gateway connecting the rest of the world to Kenya, with scheduled flights to over 50 countries. Located just 9 miles from Nairobi Central Business, JKIA continues to serve passengers with an effortless sense of style to earn its commensurate respect and admiration as the pride of Africa. Kenya Airways, Kenya's flag bearer has rivaled its way, vast and wild from the South East Asian isthmus to the ice-cold Russian Sheremetyevo International Airport. In 2011, more than 5,803,635 passengers were served at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, making it the ninth busiest airport in Africa by total passengers. The airport which handles an average 6.5 million passengers per year expects to hit the 25 million mark by 2025 with the current growth of traffic at a rate of 12% per annum. 

One of Kenya Airways' Dreamliner - The Pride of Africa!
 The recent ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new passenger Green Field Terminal is one major step in making the Kenyan dream come true, as the single largest terminal in Africa. The terminal to be completed in 2016 at a cost of US$ 654 million, designed by London-based architects Pascal and Watson will have among other facilities 60 check in positions, 32 air bridges, 8 remote gates, an automated baggage commercial retail centre and a commuter railway station, to serve 3,133 international passengers per typical peak hour.

A new, second, Instrument Landing System(ILS)-equipped runway 5,500 metres long in length has been approved for construction at a cost of US$14.8 million and is expected to be ready by December 2017. This will enable direct long-haul flights to destinations such as New York City carrying up to 32 tones. These developments are premised on Kenya's Vision 2030 to be not only the biggest destination, but also the largest economy in Africa.

Kenya has a well serviced network of airstrips and airports for domestic flights, and an array of airlines. Located 2 kms south of Nairobi is Nairobi Wilson Airport handling domestic airlines like Airkenya Aviation and Safarilink Aviation usually for tourism. Destinations like Masai Mara, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro, Amboseli to the Lamu Archipelago,(Manda Airport) is just a short flight away.

Hotels and venues
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Room
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
MICE tourism sector in Kenya is expanding and the hospitality industry in general with new payers coming into the market. The globalization of business has increased the needs for the MICE industry and although meetings & incentives have been tried hard the last years we see a tremendous development for the "incentivized" meetings in which "know how" is exchanged and combined with unforgettable experiences. Construction of  hotel properties is on the rise in Kenya and is projected to increase the total number of available rooms from 17,500 currently to 19,400 by 2018, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Marriott plans a new hotel in Nairobi in 2015 and Hilton plans to open two hotels in Nairobi in the next few years. Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Lonrho Hotels are other international hotel brands planning to expand in Nairobi," the report says. Bed or stay night, which measures occupancy in terms of one person a night in a hotel room, will recover to the levels reached in 2011 later in 2018, the report says..
According the fourth edition of PwC's coverage of the hospitality industry titled 'Hospitality outlook: 2014-2018' the focus is on South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius and Kenya.
Nigeria will be the fastest-growing hotel market over the next five years with a projected 22.6 per cent compound annual gain, fueled by increase in available rooms and large gains in stay unit nights attributed to a booming economy. In South Africa, increased construction in the hospitality sector is expected to raise the number of hotel rooms to 20,873 in 2018 from 14,144 currently.
Lawn Barbeque at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
During his tenure as the minister for tourism, the then Mvita MP, Najib Balala urged hoteliers in Mombasa to refurbish their facilities and more so to reap in the trending conference and business tourism. Towards this end, the government has signed a lease with Bamburi Cement Company in which the company will donate a piece of land to the Tourism ministry through the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation for the construction of a conference centre in Mombasa. The planned construction of the 5,000-capacity conference centre, which was mooted some time mid last year, is part of the government’s plan to re-brand Mombasa as business tourism hub, a shift from the leisure tourist destination it currently is.

Kenyatta International Convention Centre
The conference centre, which will be constructed through the Private Public Partnership joint project, will give an opportunity for Mombasa to host business conferences as part of business tourism attraction project. “We want to change the tourism sector in Mombasa from the leisure tourism to business and conference tourism. This will have more yields for this region,” Balala said.
Bomas Of Kenya Convention Centre
Kenyatta International Convention Centre (K.I.C.C) is the well known and most popular events venue in Africa. Centrally located in Nairobi, has been the leading host of numerous high-profile events, conferences and seminars. The KICC is facilitated with state-of-the-art facilities, making it a world-class venue in Africa, with major upcoming international events like the Ideal Hospitality Expo, 17-20 September 2014. Other conference facilities in Nairobi include the UNEP Division of Conference Services, Gigiri Nairobi, Hotel Villa Rosa Kempinski, The Bomas of Kenya, Safaricom Stadium Gymnasium, Kenya National Theater among others, giving meetings and conferences a whole new meaning of comfort and class.

Government Support
Past and present government has made enormous strides in improving the road network in Kenya, with 160,686 kilometres (99,970 mi) of roads according to the Kenya Roads Board. The government recognizes transport is one of the key drivers of economy enabling swift transit of people, goods and services from one point to the other. The government of Kenya is spearheading the development of Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project to strengthen her position as a gateway and a transport and logistics hub to the East African sub-region and the Great Lakes region to facilitate trade, promote regional economic  integration and interconnectivity between African countries.  With the new constitutional dispensation, the government is allocating more direct resources to the county governments to upgrade the local feeder roads and by extension enabling easy access to her national parks and game reserves.

The Local appeal and Image
An Incentive Group visit to a Maasai Village
Kenya Tourism Board and Kenya Tourism Development Corporation aligns its mandate to bring about the desired growth in the tourism industry, to steer Kenya towards becoming a top 10 long-haul tourist destination offering a high end ,diverse, and distinctive visitor experience. Some of the key areas focused on include projects like development of 4 resort cities, in Isiolo, Konza city,  Diani and Kilifi in order to capitalize on the rich tourism potential presented by the presence of Mt.Kenya, Meru National Park, the Aberdares as well as Samburu National game reserve. Another major project involves the Park initiatives to brand the most popular parks in order to offer high quality experience at premium rates. The bed capacity in most of the under-utilized parks has been advertised for expansion. The Kenya Wildlife Service has branded several parks including Mt. Elgon National park, Saiwa swamp national Park, Meru National Park. Kenya undoubtedly leads the way to attract more and more visitors every morning, noon and night and has put even more incentives like the development of Health Spas at Geothermal sites especially in the Rift valley, Eco-tourism, construction of Golf City in Nairobi, improvement in water tourism by raising the number of bed capacity in fresh water lakes around Lake Victoria and Ruma National Park.
The World famous Wildebeest migration is one of the major attractions in Kenya. Visitors come every year to witness this eighth wonder of the world, and there are approximately 108 camps and lodges in the Masai Mara area, with a total bed capacity of 4000. By and by, it will be a dream come true for Kenya as the leading global tourist destination.

DMC Complement
Having Fun in the African Bush
Some of the top Destination Management Companies such as Abercrombie & Kent, KUONI Private Safaris, Pollman’s Tours & Safaris, Kobo Safaris and Inclusive Holidays Africa deserve due recognition for their immense contribution towards  promoting the destination Kenya in the fierce competitive MICE market worldwide. They are committed to providing exceptional quality destination management services to complement your convention, incentive, meeting or special event.
 At Inclusive Holidays Africa we make sure that travel to Kenya is one magical and reliable experience. The staffs are highly trained and are as much excited about the locations as much as the visitors.
Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara Plains
The staffs have extensively traveled throughout the destinations offered and it is with this knowledge and unique understanding that they are able to create the most appropriate and fulfilling itineraries to meet visitor needs, bringing you first-hand knowledge of the locations you will visit and the hotels, lodges and camps that will accommodate you. From floating over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon, enjoying themed meals at the hotel, participating in team building activities, to a bush breakfast in the open savannah, you can be rest assured that with this knowledge you are in expert hands.


For your Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events, the destination is KENYA!

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