Govt plots tourism diversification in counties to attract seven million visitors
Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtuaa has said the government is keen on increasing the number of tourists coming into the country annually to more than 7 million within the next five years.
Kenya earned Ksh 268 billion from over 1.4 million tourists who visited the country in 2022. This was an increase from 870 000 visitors the country received in 2021.
Ololtuaa said the tourism sector is the major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) noting that the increase in the number of tourists will lead to an increase in revenues.
Speaking in Kakamega during the 3rd Edition of Kenya Cultural, Tourism and Food Festival, Ololtuaa said part of the strategies will be incorporating counties to identify unique tourism products to develop and market them internationally.
“We are mapping out product diversification. We want to look at each and every county in Kenya on what they can offer. We are working with the Council of Governors and also linking up with all the governors so that we develop what is unique and what is special in each and every county,” he noted.
The PS cited the Crying Stone of Kakamega, Kakamega tropical rain forest, Nabongo Mumia Cultural Centre, Bull fighting, and Cock fighting as some of the unique products the government is now focusing on developing.
He also said that the State Department of Culture is documenting indigenous knowledge and indigenous cultures for protection, preservation and to give them the exposure they require both locally and internationally giving an example of the Nabongo Mumia Kingdom and other kingdoms across the country which he says are symbols of our culture and unity which can bring people together.
To spur domestic tourism, the PS said the government through the bottom-up approach will strategize ways to subsidize rates.
“We are also targeting the Kenyan diaspora, we have many Kenyans abroad and we are targeting them through the embassies so that we talk to them to promote the image of Kenya,” he said.