Plans are under way to set up an ultra-modern conference facility in the tourist town of Malindi, Kenya, in a bid to revive the town’s ailing tourism industry through a conference tourism focus.

The project is being spearheaded by Plan Group of Hotels International Kenya, which has three resorts in Malindi: Sandies Tropical Village, Dream of Africa, and New Dream Gardens Hotel.

The new conference centre – the first large-scale facility in Malindi – will have state-of-the-art equipment and capacity to accommodate 500 people, and is expected to be completed by April.

General Manager of the Plan Group of Hotels International, Alexander Zissimatos, said the facility would be ideal for conference tourists who will be able to land at the Malindi Airport and access the facility in 15 minutes.

Zissimatos said the resorts had already received bookings in relation to the conference venue, and expects to host large conferences in June and July this year. He added that the three resorts have 133 beds, and they hope the demand will be high. “It’s a chance for Malindi to tap into conferencing.

The move is expected to spur tourism diversification for the region, which is renowned for the scenic white sandy beaches, the Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks, Gedi Ruins, and the Swahili architecture

This is one of the strategies aimed at developing products that suit the modern day travelers and to diversify the market demands from the normal leisure and beach tourism to attract conference tourists in large numbers.