Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions and events (MICE) remain key pillars in development across Africa tourism. These provide platforms for strategic deal-making and entice new investors to tourist destinations. With growing interest in Africa from developed economies, there are considerable opportunities to offer a range of MICE products and services to the under-served organizations.
Most African countries are committed to pragmatic approaches to developing their MICE tourism industry to diversify their tourism economies through public-private-partnerships. Rwanda and Ghana are two of these countries. Addressing the media at Rwanda Development Board (RDB) head offices in Kigali a few days ago, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB said Rwanda has a target of increasing its MICE (Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) receipts to US$74 million this year, up from US$42 last year.
“As you know, Rwanda has prioritized MICE as one of the drivers of economic growth and the Government has invested in infrastructures like the Kigali Convention Centre (KICC) and the national airline. We have also invested in hotels and attracted the private sector to support the value chain of the conference tourism” Akamanzi highlighted. It is against this background that the upcoming Africa Tourism Leadership Forum(ATLF), which will take place in Accra on 30 and 31 August, is set to offer capacity building and coaching program in business tourism and MICE product development. This program will be delivered by renowned experts. These include representatives from NEPAD (AU), Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and UK. The aim is to offer bespoke and experiential learning based on global best practice, case studies and to up-skill public and private sector delegates attending the forum.
“Business Tourism is a critical tool for economic growth in Africa. With continuing infrastructure upgrades, improved air connectivity, improved visa facilitation and unique cultural tourism assets, one can strongly argue that Africa is ready for business/MICE tourism growth.”, indicates Vincent Oparah, Tourism Advisor at NEPAD. “Innovative initiatives such as ATLF, blended with Capacity Building on business tourism development are long overdue. I am thrilled that ATLF will help put spotlight on MICE Tourism development and also recognize change-makers in the industry”. He emphasizes.
The need for growth in Africa’s tourism arrivals is real, given the continent’s meager share of about 8% of global tourist arrivals. Public-Private sector dialogues at events like ATLF can help forge unity to unlock the continent’s potential for Business Tourism and MICE tourism.
Register at: tourismleadershipforum.africa to attend, access full program and awards nomination form. For further information, contact Ms. Nozipho Dlamini at:
[email protected] or call on +27 11 037 0332.
The Africa Tourism Leadership Forum is supported by the African Tourism Board.