Kenya: Bomas, KICC merger plan in tourism revival strategy

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The government plans to merge the management of its two iconic conferencing facilities in Nairobi in the next two years in efforts to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector.

The Treasury said it will merge Bomas of Kenya with the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), including all other public funded meetings, incentives, and conferencing and exhibition venues.

The move is part of the post-recovery strategies to promote tourism which has faced the biggest hit in terms of job losses and income. It is expected to change the operations and the way the Treasury funds the agencies.
KICC is tasked with positioning the country as a favourable destination for travel and exhibitions. Bomas is used for holding events and also host heritage for tourism.

National Treasury also plans to outsource management of Bomas of Kenya and Kenya Utalii College.

“To meet the demands imposed on the tourist sector by the pandemic, the sector will fast-track the review of Tourism Policy Framework,” National Treasury said in the post Covid-19 economic recovery strategy note.

“The sector is currently undertaking review of the National Tourism Policy 2010 which will culminate in the review of the Tourism Act 2011 and a major restructuring of the existing institutions into five semi-autonomous agencies.”
The KICC was among centres in the exhibition industry that had reported almost zero revenues due to economic fallout from the pandemic.

In September, KICC chief executive Nana Gecaga said the centre saw cancellations of about 10 events scheduled in March-June period including Next Einstein Forum 2020 Global Gathering, the 4th Pan African Youth Conference and China Province Expo.

Source: ELIZABETH KIVUVA, Business Daily Africa

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