Architecture for Conference Tourism in Nairobi

ABSTRACT

Conference Tourism is a form of tourism that has been encouraged in Kenya over the recent years due to its ability to attract more tourist during any time of the year as compared to wildlife tourism which doesn’t happen throughout the year. Nairobi is the centre of all these conferences since it has the largest Convention Centre in Kenya known as the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, its ability to host a large tourist population and due to the fact that it’s the capital city of Kenya, has a cultural diversity, the only City with a national park in it and is a metropolitan area that’s known internationally. Conference Tourism focus in Kenya has been Nairobi based since it’s an urban city that most tourists use as a gateway as they begin their Kenyan or East African tour.

The study outlines the findings from Nairobi’s two main conference centres, that is Kenyatta International Convention Centre and the Bomas of Kenya and compares them to international trends in relation to conference tourism. These centres were chosen purposefully due to their ability to hold international conferences, capacities, location and the fact that they are a representation of the Kenyan culture.

The findings revealed that in order for a convention to function efficiently, conference tourist’s integration into the urban environment were a major influence of how successful future conferences would flourish due to consideration of the environment, location, cultural and urban integration. Conference attendees no longer want to be closed off for long periods of time in a meeting but rather would prefer to be integrated into the community. (McMillin, 2014)

This study seeks to outline conference tourism process by using Nairobi, an urban city as an example. By doing so recommend guidelines on how to plan and design modern conference centres based on international conferencing trends. Such centres will aid in improving Kenya’s tourism economy more especially in the conference tourism sector or rather MICE Tourism.

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