The meetings industry, also known as Business Events Tourism, has come of age. It has firmly placed itself at the centre of tourism as one of the key drivers of the sector’s development and an important generator of income, employment and investment.
In addition to important business opportunities, the meetings industry provides immense benefits to the broader economy as it generates on average a higher spending level, reduces seasonality, contributes to the regeneration of destinations, spreads knowledge and enhances innovation and creativity.
For a sustainable development of business events industry to be realised, a properly anchored and balanced relationship must exist among the ‘trinity’ of sustainable business events: Policy (government), enterprise (business sector) and innovation (research), where each part plays its role individually and collectively.
Policy is the planned formation of social domains through collectively binding decisions. Since the Government is the custodian of laws and regulations, it needs to develop policies for business events tourism that are well thought in conjunction with relevant stakeholders. The policies should guide standards for conference facilities, event management, environmental sustainability, incentive, subsidies and subventions for bidding events.
The enterprise is influenced by the forces of demand and supply. The business events industry is not unique to these forces. The supply of the business events industry refers to the characteristic and products such as accommodation, hospitality and catering, transport, conference and exhibitions, while the demand side refers to conference organisers, delegates, exhibitors and visitors.
The enterprises encompass all stakeholders responsible for both supply and demand from private businesses and community resource managers to public entities entrusted with the management, conservation and commercialisation of all factors.
Innovation has become critical to economic development and there is a clear statistical link between it and gains in the standards of living. As we have already experienced, the Internet of Things in the 21st century has caused a major disruption in the way business is done.
The supply side of business events is the most challenged as it facilitates business events. As demand side becomes techno-savvy, the more sophisticated their demands are and the supply side is not only expected to keep pace but to outpace them to create a ‘wow’ effect.
Research and innovation touch on scholars, academicians and researchers, among others. With these come principles of collective reasoning, standards and ethics in form of associations, societies and federations.
These professional groups are important in advancement of their distinct fields of knowledge and their linkages to global societies become a key source of demand in the business events industry.
Kenyan universities and their linkages are the bastions of new knowledge creation. These minds create exhibitions, meetings and conferences as opportunities to disseminate, broadcast and bounce off that new knowledge to other similar minds across the globe, and as such the business events industry should encourage and support such initiatives.
Kenya is a renowned tourism jewel in itself and has attracted travellers through the centuries. There is already a strong foundation to propel business events to a successful future.
The recent establishment of a National Convention Bureau forms the apex or the centre of a three-sided pyramid, around which the trinity coalesces.
– The author is a specialist in sustainable business events and tourism development. Email:[email protected]
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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.