Nairobi’s meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) tourism has grown over the past few years to become a key revenue contributor in the tourism industry.
Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics the number of international conferences and delegates grew by 6.8 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively in 2018.
On the other hand, local conferences and delegates grew 7.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.
“The improved performance was a result of a conducive environment for tourism, withdrawal of travel advisories and high-profile international conferences and meetings held in 2018,” the 2019 Economic Survey stated.
Some of the high-profile conferences held in the country last year include The first ordinary session of the African Union Ministerial Sub-Committee on Tourism, The 79th International Skal World Congress, The Sustainable Blue Economy and the African Hotel Investment Forum.
This good MICE performance saw tourism earnings grow 31.3 per cent last year to sh157.4 billion from Sh119.9 billion, with the number of international visitors growing 14 per cent to 2.03 million tourists.
By Cynthia Ilako, Business Writer
Well-funded developers are increasingly pouring big doses of investment into construction of serviced apartments in Nairobi as they seek to meet the rising demand for such facilities.
Serviced apartments are proving especially popular with multinationals operating in Kenya, whose workforces – largely millennials – are largely capitalising on serviced residences in Nairobi – piling more pressure on the few high quality apartments available in the city.
This trend is sparking new investments, ranging from five-star hotel-based residences to high-end serviced apartments, in prime locations across the city as investors race to meet the rising demand for non-hotel accommodation among travellers
Prit Shah, sales manager of Vaal Real Estate, said in an interview that Nairobi serviced apartments have registered a three-year average occupancy of 72 per cent compared to a 52 per cent average for short-stay hotels, mainly due to the flexibility and freedom afforded by these dwellings.
“In terms of a home away from home, a serviced apartment will give you that but a hotel can’t. You get a kitchen; you can cook your meal. With a hotel, it is not possible. So we have seen a very big rise with the occupancy for serviced apartments compared to traditional hotels,” Mr Shah said.
According to Vaal Real Estate, Nairobi boasted 4,582 serviced apartments last year – nearly double the figure in 2013 – with Westlands supplying 37 per cent of these residences due to its vast offering of business, entertainment, and social amenities. Kilimani followed at 28 per cent, with the city centre and Upper Hill supplying nine and six per cent of Nairobi serviced apartments respectively.
By Joy Makena