The Africa Hotel Investment Forum will return to Kenya in September 2013.
The conference, which took place in Morocco in 2011 and Nairobi in 2012, has stayed put after the Kenyan government made a compelling case to keep it in Kenya, following the success of the 2012 event.
Kenya minister of tourism, Dan Mwazo, said: “AHIF is a very prestigious conference. It attracts many of the leading international hotel investors and it facilitates numerous conversations about new hospitality projects in Africa.
“It is the kind of meeting that we want to welcome, not just for the income generated by the event itself but also for the type of people that come.
“Many attendees arrive with the express intention of investing in and developing world class hotels.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us to excite them about Kenya and to show them the potential our country offers.”
AHIF 2012 attracted 426 delegates from 38 countries who represented 310 organisations.
The number of delegates was over 30 per cent up on the previous year and the event was backed by 22 sponsors.
Discussions at the conference gained considerable media attention, with around a hundred reports appearing in the Kenyan media and around the world.
Marianne Ndegwa Jordan, chief executive, Kenya Tourist Development Corporation, added: “It will be good news for our economy if the business community says that the place to meet Africa’s hospitality investors and experts is Nairobi.
“Investors should also take note that Kenya is keen to develop tourism in a sustainable way, in a genuine partnership with entrepreneurs and the private sector.”
Tourism is Kenya’s most important industry, after agriculture.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council it is responsible for 14 per cent of GDP and 12 per cent of total employment.
It is also a sector that WTTC predicts will continue to grow at 3.7 per cent per annum for the next decade.
AHIF is organised by Bench Events, one of the world’s leading organisers of hotel investment conferences, co-hosting annual meetings in Germany, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
These events attract the international hotel investment community, including developers, investors, management companies, tourism officials and leading advisers from around the globe, as well as industry leaders locally and regionally.
World Travel Awards
Also in the news, Kenya’s profile as a preferred tourist destination has received a boost with the Kenya Tourism Board winning the bid to host this year’s World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony.
The event will take place on October 16th.
The WTA nominations will recognise excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, thus encouraging nominees to uphold constant improvement in products and delivery of service.
The decision to host the event in Kenya comes hot on the heels of KTB’s award as Africa’s Leading Tourism Board by WTA in December last year.
Kenya is located in East Africa and boasts white sandy beaches bathed by the Indian Ocean as well as the majestic snow-capped Mount Kenya.
It is increasingly emerging as an Adventure destination offering activities from hot air ballooning, to authentic cultural interactions with the local ethnic communities, as well as visits to the world renowned Masai Mara, with breath taking safaris and wildebeest migrations, supported by a miscellany of unique superior class accommodation.
WTA president Graham Cooke added: “The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards programme, and Kenya as a nation has all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our Africa Ceremony – a warm, vibrant and progressive nation, brimming with enthusiasm and creativity.”