Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Earlier this year, Rwanda was ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) among the most popular conference and events destinations of Africa. ICCA ranked Rwanda, and specifically Kigali, third continentally, for its capacity to accommodate international meetings and events, after Cape Town of South Africa, and Casablanca of Morocco.
This highlights the Rwandan government’s effort in marketing the country as a MICE destination using the iconic Kigali Convention Centre as rallying point. Kenya has witnessed a remarkable year of MICE activities.
Two of its major cities, Nairobi and Mombasa have hosted some of the biggest global and regional events, including Skal World Congress, Africa Hotel Investment Forum, Global MICE Summit, the 2018 World Health Organisation Global Management Meeting, ICAO’s Air Services Negotiation Event among many others. Kenya like Rwanda, is gradually projecting itself as the Safari capital of the world and a potential big player in the global MICE industry.
West Africa on the other hand, is yet to fully explore the opportunities that MICE has in boosting tourism receipts. While countries like Ghana with its capital Accra are gradually attracting important global and regional events, a lot more needs to be done.
The Ghana Tourism Authority has created a Visitors and Conventions Bureau for coordinating marketing of the country as a MICE destination. The country has since hosted the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations, Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, Routes Africa Conference, World Press Freedom 2018 Day and a host of others.
The Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja also hold huge potential in the MICE industry which is yet to be harnessed fully. Abuja successfully hosted the UNWTO Commission for Africa Meetings earlier in the year.
The Takulandirani – Malawi International Tourism Expo is gaining footing among industry players within the Southern Africa region and beyond. The upcoming year will be an exciting one for African countries as many are gradually getting to know the significance of MICE to tourism growth.