BY MATHIAS RINGA
PrideInn Group of Hotels has announced that it is fully prepared to host the SKAL World Congress Mombasa 2018.
According to PrideInn Group of Hotels managing director Hasnain Noorani, the hotel chain will host the global event at PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort, Convention Centre & Spa in Mombasa County from October 17 to 21.
Kenya won a bid to host the 79th edition global event, after a delegation led by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala attended the SKAL International World Congress in Monaco in 2016.
In May 2015, SKAL International, an organisation that promotes global travel and tourism called off a congress, which was supposed to be held in Mombasa over security concerns.
However, the SKAL executive committee had agreed that Kenya would be an automatic finalist at the 2016 Congress for selection of the 2018 venue along with other destinations selected by the organisation’s international council.
Mombasa emerged the winner to host the event after overcoming competition from Lima city in Peru.
SKAL International boasts 355 clubs across 83 countries with 13,970 members.
Speaking to the Travel and Tourism Daily at PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort in Shanzu on Tuesday, Mr Noorani said his Hotel Group was ready to host the global event.
“We are fully prepared to host SKAL World Congress Mombasa 2018. We assure international delegates that they will get quality service and the unrivalled hospitality of this historical city,” he added.
He went on: “We are set to bring more conferences to Mombasa. As part of our 2018 strategy, we look forward to hosting five international conferences in Mombasa.”
The hosting of the global event would boost tourism in Mombasa, as well as put the popular holiday destination on the world map.
“Mombasa is the centrepiece of tourism in the country. So, apart from attending the congress, the delegates will have the pleasure of enjoying the sun, sand and sea,” the PrideInn Group boss said.
More than 1,000 delegates, who are expected to converge in Mombasa in October for the Congress are also likely to flock to the national parks such as the celebrated Maasai Mara National Reserve for game viewing.
On the other hand, Mr Noorani said bookings for the Easter festive season were on the rise, as tourists were planning to come and spend the long holiday in Mombasa.
“Currently, PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort has 62 per cent occupancy. But we expect the guest numbers to jump to 85 per cent over the Easter period,” he added.
He attributed the rise in bookings to enhanced transport with frequent domestic flights to Mombasa, as well as the Madaraka Express trains.