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Budding MICE Industry a Catalyst for Tourism
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 17 Aug 16

Kenya's Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) industry has grown steadily over the past five years, both from demand and supply perspectives. This is exemplified in the growing number of tourist arrivals (domestic and international) for business purpose; and a corresponding increase in bed capacity and conference exhibition space and services in the country.

The tourism sector is increasingly turning to the MICE segment for sustainability - to overcome seasonality of leisure travel which has previously been the local tourism sector's main stay.

A study released by W Hospitality Group, a member of Hotel Partners Africa, indicates that an additional 1,437 beds will be set up in Nairobi between 2016 - 2017; representing billions of dollars in foreign direct and local investments.

Globally, MICE is a fast growing industry, estimated to be worth over $30 billion, with an estimated 50 million MICE travelers annually. This represents huge potential for growth for the local tourism industry.

MICE FACTS AT A GLANCE:

1.    The industry is cross-sector: the sector integrates services and products from varied industries, i.e. Travel management; Hotels; Transportation, ICT, Recreation/entertainment; and strong linkages to advertising. Due to its cross-sector nature, MICE generates economic benefits across sectors.

2.    Promotes the destination profile - owing to agenda of international interest and impact; commands international publicity and attendance.

3.    MICE travelers spend approximately 3 times more than leisure travelers, having more disposable income. MICE creates direct, indirect and induced spending.

4.    Research indicates that MICE travelers return for leisure to a destination they visited for MICE: boosted by an increasing preference for MICE destinations that offer a combination of business, unique and leisure experiences.

5.    Demand for ICT: MICE buyers increasingly value technologies such as wireless internet access & networking, audio-visual services, language interpretation and attendee feedback technologies. MICE travelers value internet access in their Hotel room more than quiet.


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