OBAMA VISIT A SHOT IN THE ARM OF PROMOTING TOURISM TO THE LAKE VICTORIA REGION OF KENYA
(Posted 13th July 2018)
Speaking ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya scheduled for 15th to 16th July 2018, KTB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Betty Radier has said work is already ongoing to identify tourism products in the region that either have previously not been showcased as well as those that require to be transformed into top travel experiences.
Dr. Radier said, “We are actively working with the counties to help them understand how to package, position and sell their tourism products as export-ready products in order to enable to attract visitors that will experience the products as top experiences that are at a world class standard.”
The KTB CEO is upbeat that the Lake Region is well positioned to attract more tourist numbers in the near term.
KTB recently held a stakeholder forum in Kisumu City that brought together private sector players in the hospitality as well as tours and travel sector in the Lake Victoria region to identify the region’s diversity of experiences that need to be showcased to the domestic, regional and international markets.
The KTB CEO added that KTB’s engagement with counties is part of its Tourism Product Development and Marketing Strategy which is being implemented over the next five years.
Commenting on the significance of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya’s tourism sector, Dr. Radier said his visit will not only position Kenya as a destination not only to the U.S. market – which is Kenya’s number one tourism source market – but also showcase areas that build around the Lake region’s cultural and historical heritage.
“Former President Obama’s visit to the Lake region will serve as a gateway that will not only open up his ancestral home in Kogelo into a must-see iconic experience for visitors coming into the Lake region but also provide an opportunity for the 14 counties in the Lake region Economic Bloc to showcase their unique and diverse tourism products‘ she added.
Dr. Radier further said the former U.S. President’s visit speaks to the Lake region’s capacity to receive and host high caliber guests, courtesy of the enhanced air and road transport infrastructure that make the region quite accessible. Kisumu City hosts an international airport that is the country’s third busiest airport.
The Lake Region Economic Bloc comprises of the counties of Bomet, Kericho, Nyamira, Kisii, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma and Vihiga.
Among the Lake region’s signature products include Nature and Wildlife (Impala Sanctuary, Lake Victoria, Kakamega Forest, Ruma National Park), Culture & Heritage (Kit Mikayi, Crying Stone, Soapstone carvings in Tabaka, Pottery, Museums – Nabongo Kingdom, Thimlich Ohinga), Beaches (Rusinga Island, Takawiri), Water sports (Sailing, Fishing, Cruises), Festivals and Events ( Bull Fighting & other Cultural events, sports and entertainment), as well as Agro-tourism (Tea and sugarcane plantations)
Thimlich Ohinga – which is a prehistoric site located in Migori County – was recently elevated into a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) owing to its exception status as one of the largest and best preserved traditional enclosures in the world.
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