NAIROBI – Kenya has intensified lobbying to win bid to host the 24th edition of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in 2021, officials said on Monday.
Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife said that Kenya will make a strong case to host the premier event when UNWTO members hold a biannual meeting this week 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,” said Balala.
“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 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 that runs from Sept. 9 to 13.
“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.
Likewise, East Africa’s largest economy will showcase its state of the art conference facilities, scenic attractions and advanced digital infrastructure to pitch for an opportunity to host the global tourism assembly.
According to a brief from the ministry of tourism, hosting the UNWTO general assembly is in line with Kenya’s quest to diversify tourism products and boost foreign exchange earnings.