By Etaarifa Contributor
The World Trade Organization (WTO) tenth Ministerial Conference scheduled to take place from 15th to 18thDecember this year is expected to inject about Kshs 2.6 billion to the economy.
Speaking after inspecting the preparations of the conference at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the preparations were 98% complete.
“This is the biggest conference ever to be hosted in Sub Saharan Africa and we are not taking chances in ensuring that we meet the international standards” said the CS.
He termed the conference as an eye-opener of other upcoming conference and added that Kenya has what it takes to host huge conferences.
“We expect an average delegate spend of Kshs 375,000, this should inject approximately Kshs. 2.6 billion to the Kenyan economy through the multiplier effect”,he added .
Balala was accompanied by Mr Danio Campanelli, the WTO project Coordinator and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development Mr Ali Ismail
The Conference is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates from all over the world with Balala terming the conference as one of the showcase of Kenya’s preparedness on conference tourism.
He said his Ministry has identified conferencing as one of the niche tourism products that will generate revenues to the economy besides other tourism products.
The Ministry, he pointed out, position Kenya as the preferred destination for global meetings through bidding to host world conferences in Kenya.
Balala expressed his optimism that Kenya’s brand equity continues to improve with the country hosting key international events. “They have also contributed to profiling of Kenya as a safe destination and have endorsed Nairobi as a regional business hub”.
He said the MC10 adds to the number of key international events including Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) co-hosted by US President Barrack Obama in July and the just concluded Pope Francis visit to Kenya.
“Kenya is looking forward to host the United Nations Conference on African Development as well as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development from next year” he disclosed.