Kenya lobbies for hosting UNWTO General Assembly

Kenya has intensified lobbying to win the bid to host the 24th edition of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in 2021, officials said this week.

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Kenyan Tourism Minister Najib Balala said that Kenya will make a strong case to host the premier event when meeting with UNWTO members at its biannual meeting taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“We are going to make a solid case for Kenya to host the 24th UNWTO General Assembly meeting in 2021 as the first East African country to do so,” Balala said.

“We will build on the success of recently-hosted high-level global events in Kenya as a strong reason why Kenya should be voted as host for the upcoming meeting and hope to secure the victory,” he added.

Kenya will be competing with the Philippines and Morocco in its bid to host the global tourism assembly when tourism ministers from UNWTO member states cast ballots during their meeting in Russia this week.

“A win to host the event will greatly enhance Kenya’s profile not only as the preferred travel destination in Africa, but also the choice destination for meetings and exhibitions which is the next frontier of tourism that we want to create awareness in addition to the traditional beach and safari proposition,” said Balala.

Kenya’s tourism ministry will leverage on its previous experience in hosting world-class events to lobby over 1,000 delegates from 130 UNWTO member states in the biannual event.

Standing as the leading safari destination in East Africa, Kenyan delegates at the UNWTO meeting will showcase the state-of-the-art conference facilities, scenic attractions, and advanced digital infrastructure to pitch for an opportunity to host the global tourism assembly.

Hosting the UNWTO General Assembly is in line with Kenya’s quest to diversify tourism products and boost foreign exchange earnings, officials said.

Kenya was on Tuesday elected the United Nations World Tourism Organization Executive Council member representing Africa at the just-ended 62nd Commission for Africa (CAF) meeting at the UNWTO general assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The East African country will represent the entire African continent until 2023 at the global tourism summit.

The Kenyan delegation lobbied to host the 24th UNWTO 2021 General Assembly in Kenya on the road to make Kenya a leading Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) center.

The main aim for the African nations meeting at the UNWTO 62nd CAF is to build on the “Agenda 4 Africa” that will outline the actions to be taken to realize sustainable tourism throughout the continent within set timelines.

Balala said that Kenyan delegates are going to make a solid case for Kenya to host the 24th UNWTO General Assembly meeting in 2021 as the first East African country to host the high-profile UN tourism meeting.

Kenya lobbies for hosting UNWTO General Assembly