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Hoteliers in western join hands to sell region’s attractions

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Kisumu International Airport
Kisumu International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Hoteliers in the western region are set to jointly package and market major attraction sites to domestic tourists.

The plan involves creating packages for domestic tourists to visit the region through road trips.

The region is targeting visitors from Mombasa, Nairobi, Naivasha and Nakuru to tour Ruma National Park, Kit Mikayi, Kakamega Forest, tea plantations in Kericho and other attraction sites in the region.

Western Kenya Hospitality Leaders Association chairman Robinson Anyal said the leisure segment has been dormant and needs to be revived.

“We are a team of 100 hotels in the region. We are liaising with tour guides countrywide to revive the leisure segment. We have been doing well in conference and meeting segments with a lot of corporate businesses,” said Mr Anyal.

“We have had our first meeting. We are having the second meeting this weekend driven by the private sector.”

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Mr Anyal said the clients will be on road trips connecting Nairobi, Kericho, Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu, Vihiga and Kakamega.

“We are creating a package where tourists can visit the vast tea plantations, get to see how tea is processed at the factories. Thereafter, get to visit Ruma National Park, get to see the flamingoes at Simbi Nyaima, and the soap stone industry in Kisii County,” he noted.

“We want to exploit activities of the lake through water sports, cruise rides from Luanda-Kotieno to Mbita using the water bus or ferry. The western region has a lot to offer.”

Western region has a bed capacity of 3,100. Mr Anyal said there is a plan to have the clients who come for business to also exploit leisure tourism.

Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohammed Hersi said the ratio of domestic tourists to international tourists is 50:50. He said Kenyans are willing to spend and explore the western circuit so long as they are well informed on the attraction sites.

Acacia Hotel General Manager Duncan Mwangi said the western region tourism circuit offers an alternative to places such as Mombasa, Naivasha and Lamu.

“So many improvements are happening in the western region. We have the Kenya Pipeline Jetty, the standard gauge railway is coming and now there are many flights coming to Kisumu International Airport. We need to take advantage of the business flow and turn it into leisure tourism,” said Mr Mwangi.

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