Govt. plans major expansion for KICC in move to secure mega conferences
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is set for major a major upgrade and expansion, as the country positions itself as an international conferencing destination.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the plan will entail construction of a new hall that can accommodate 5,000 delegates, adding to the facilities already, 10,000 delegate capacity.
Constructed in 1975, the KICC has played a monumental role in hosting major events, with the facility being stretched to capacity over the last three years.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said with Kenya’s positioning, a modern facility would attract more conferences to Nairobi.
“It’s a high time we refurbish it. We have seen the time when we had the big meetings we had to hire tents and put people outside. But now we have a plan that we have to increase and have an additional Tsavo 2 that can accommodate more than 5,000 people,” Mr Balala said.
The move is expected to enhance the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions segment that has continued to grow significantly.
In 2016, KICC played host to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Conference the sixth Tokyo International Conference and the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization.
KICC Managing Director Nana Gacega says plans are also in place to add restaurants and other facilities that will serve as attractions to get tourists to use the facility not just for conferencing.
“My vision for KICC is not only to make it a premier business venue but also to make it a multipurpose venue where people from all walks of life can meet. Business events are taking a leading role in Kenya’s tourism strategy and I realize that in order to make it a success is to streamline conferencing and improve the delegates’ experience,” Ms Gacega said.
They made the remarks during the lighting up ceremony of KICC ahead of the festive season.
The move is expected to use the KICC as a national landmark that can adopt various colors in support of national holiday’s or global events.
The Ministry of Tourism will hold competitions for corporate organizations that light up their buildings.
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