Conference tourism to inject Sh250bn into the economy, says Kandie

Wednesday October 21 2015

East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and Kenya Investment Authority managing director Moses Ikiara during the launch of this year's Kenya International Investment Conference.

East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara during the launch of this year's Kenya International Investment Conference. PHOTO | LILIAN OCHIENG | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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Kenya expects locally hosted international conferences to boost foreign direct investments to over Sh250 billion this year, as more focus is put on international marketing.

East African Affairs Commerce & Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said the Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) in November, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in July and the December World Trade Organisation conference will boost the country’s foreign earnings by a great margin.

KIICO CONFERENCE

The CS said Kenya will present five bankable projects at the three-day KIICO conference expected to kick off on November 23. The African Economic Outlook survey showed that last year, Kenya earned Sh115 billion from foreign direct investments.

“We expect the figure to double yearly as we execute the country’s recovery plans, (and) we will leverage on major projects in apparel and textile industries, agribusiness, ICT and tourism to boost economic development for the region,” said Ms Kandie.

Together with experts from the World Bank and the Oxford Business Group the ministry expects to maximise on investment opportunities in the country through the KIICO. The 47 county governments are also expected to each present investment opportunities at the conference.

Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara said Kenya is prepared to host over 1,500 delegates at the KIICO conference. The WTO conference, on the other hand, is expected to attract an estimated 7,000 delegates.

MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Meanwhile, Ms Kandie said Kenya together with international public relations firm Grayling will launch another aggressive destination marketing campaign.

This is besides the ongoing "Make it Kenya" campaign. Increased marketing is part of a strategy that rebrands Kenya as a top tourist destination.

Ms Kandie said negative publicity had weighed down the country’s tourism sector and the situation will be remedied.

“We believe that constant positive messages through advertisement will help mitigate on the negative stories about the country as noticed in the recent past in the wake of insecurity,” she said.