The Chief Executive of African Tourism Partners (ATP) has backed Tanzania to be the hub of conference tourism in Africa.
Kwachi Donkey said the East African country’s advantage is its central location.
The government of Tanzania is pulling its strings in promoting conference tourism having shown a great potential to increase the number of tourist arrival in the country and growing the tourism industry.
Tanzania will, however, face a regional challenge from Rwanda which has recorded drastic achievements from the hospitality industry.
In March 2018, Rwanda ranked among the top destinations Africa’s most popular conference and events destinations on the continent by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), a global meetings industry network.
Further back in 2016, ICCA voted Nairobi, Kenya’s capital as Africa’s leading meetings and conference destination at the World Travel Awards and voted the East African country Kenya as the second-best destination for conference tourism in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa, a year where Rwanda raked in $404 million from MICE.
Rwanda fell behind Cape Town of South Africa, and Casablanca of Morocco in the pecking order for capacity to accommodate international meetings and events.
Since then, the government has offered continuous support in ensuring the country becomes a prioritized hub in Africa.
Commenting on the rankings, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, Denise Omany said, “Rwanda recorded 28,308 delegates in 2017, up from 23,804 in 2016. Tourism is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner and MICE is playing an important role in its growth, bringing in 15 per cent of all tourism revenue. MICE tourism contributed $42 million in 2017. We aim to increase it to $74 million this year.”
Tanzania has begun investing in conference tourism to be as competitive as its neighbours. The booming hospitality industry in Tanzania courtesy of hotels should steer conference tourism. The source of revenue can create jobs and improve the economic performance of Tanzania.