Tourism players will converge in Mombasa from tomorrow for the 79th International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals (Skal) World Congress.
Skal president Susanna Saari said the event will be a game changer for Mombasa's tourism industry. "This is an important event for Kenya's tourism sector to showcase what the country has to offer, particularly in Mombasa," Ms Saari said.
She said international and local travel and tourism professionals will be looking for new ideas and destinations to tap into.
"Skal is the biggest travel and tourism organisation in the world. We have about 14,000 members globally. We expect hundreds of our colleagues to come and enjoy Kenyan hospitality," Ms Saari said.
She was speaking during a press briefing at the Pride Inn Paradise Resort ahead of the conference.
The forum will give industry players an opportunity to showcase their products.
"We have had a number of challenges in Mombasa, particularly in terms of security, which have adversely affected the industry. However, we are keen to revive the sector's fortunes and place Mombasa back on the world map. It is a beautiful destination," Ms Maureen Ogola, the forum's local organising committee vice chairperson, said.
Skal councillor Juliet Scott said the congress will reposition Mombasa as a great tourist destination.
"Wonderful things are happening in Mombasa: charter flights are coming back; the buildings look beautiful; dirt is being collected. There is work to be done but the progress is good. We have been posting pictures of Mombasa on social media and many people are asking: where is that?" Ms Scott said.
Security has been beefed up. More than 500 delegates from over 40 countries will attend the conference.