The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is helping out county governments identify tourism sites to enable them carve out their individual market niche, the organization’s product manager Fred Okeyo said yesterday.
“KTB is exploring areas of collaboration with county governments which will include product identification, development, packaging and marketing to both the local and international level”, Okeyo explained.
He was speaking in Bungoma when he led a team from the KTB, Kenya Tourism Fund and other tourism officials when paying a courtesy call on Governor Kenneth Lusaka before the tour of tourism sites in the county.
The product manager pointed out that the new initiative between KTB and county governments would open up new tourism frontiers ideal for domestic and foreign tourists in line with the board strategy to diversifying tourism products.
Okeyo said KTB’s central role remained marketing of the country’s tourism attractions but development of new horizons would set up new destinations in the counties particularly those with unique cultural backgrounds given the diversity and the opening up of new tourism circuits that would enhance the country’s appeal globally.
He said the collaboration framework between the counties and KTB would be completed soon to pave way for implementation of new attractive ventures so as to maximize on the product diversity.
Lusaka welcomed the initiative from the country’s tourism marketing agency and announced his government was investing heavily in road infrastructure to open up Mt Elgon which has rare flora and fauna alongside scenic sites that were yet to be opened up.
The governor disclosed that he has written to the Kenya Airports Authority to finance the upgrading of the Webuye airstrip for use by tourists keen on visiting the site. Apart from Webuye, the county has airstrips at Bungoma Town and Nzoia Sugar Company premises along with a golf course that could be used to promote sports tourism.
He said the county government was also investing in a high altitude athletics training centre in Mt Elgon that would be a further boon to tourism fortunes in the western circuit.
Lusaka explained that the government was also reclaiming historical and cultural sites for rehabilitation and development into tourism and cultural heritages sites with amenities nearby to cater for visitors.
The governor explained that Bungoma’ potential was huge and would benefit residents once fully tapped and encouraged investments in the sector through private public partnerships.