Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort Convention Centre & Spa in Mombasa will from today 17th October 2018 host the 79th Skal International World Congress. Dubbed “Congress on the Beach,” the 4-day conference has attracted over 500 participants from Skal clubs globally.
Globally, Skal has 400 clubs throughout over 90 countries with approximately 15,000 members. Clubs have members drawn from owners and top management in the hotels, airlines, tour operators and travel agents, bringing together the key decision makers and influencers of the travel and tourism industry.
First Skal club was founded in Paris in 1932 and two years later Skal International was formed. Since its establishment, this is the first time the organization which is headquartered in Spain is holding the global tourism event in Africa.
Speaking yesterday ahead of the start of the conference, Kenya Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier said, “The 79th Skal International World Congress has provided the City of Mombasa with an exceptional opportunity to showcase itself as the preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.
“We anticipate that the convening of the Congress in Mombasa will boost efforts to position the City of Mombasa and Kenya’s coast both as a conference tourism destination and a leisure destination.” Said Radier.
The conference further comes as a major boost to the tourism sector along Kenya’s coast, besides being an endorsement of the destination as safe for tourism business, said KTB boss.
Tourist arrivals into Kenya’s Coastal region between 1st July 2017 to 30th June 2018 rose by double digit levels over the previous financial year to boost total tourist arrivals into Kenya by 6.8% to 1,488,370 up from 1,393,568 in 2016/17.
During the period under review, arrivals at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport grew by 29.6% to 119,910 up from 92,526 in 2016/17.
Cruise ship arrivals recorded during the period grew by 59% to 2,778 by the close of June 2018 compared to 1,743 in 2016/17.
Commenting on the improved numbers at the coast, Dr. Radier noted, “Improved security, continued confidence in the destination, establishment of modern transport infrastructure such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway as well as the implementation of the Ksh. 1.2 billion Charter Incentive Programme at the Coast have greatly contributed to the continued improvement in the performance of Kenya’s tourism sector, particularly at the Coast.”