With the region targeting visitors from Mombasa, Nairobi, Naivasha and Nakuru to tour Ruma National Park, Kit Mikayi, Kakamega Forest, tea plantations in Kericho area and other attraction sites in the western region of Kenya bordering Uganda, hotel operators are set to jointly package and market major attraction sites to domestic tourists through organizing road trips connecting Nairobi, Kericho, Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu, Vihiga and Kakamega according to Western Kenya Hospitality Leaders Association chairman Robinson Anyal and added by saying the leisure segment has been dormant and needs to be revived to attract more tourists to the greatly rich in tourism region.
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 with western region having 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.
“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.”
“We are creating a package where tourists can visit the vast tea plantations to see how tea is, harvested, processed and packed 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.”
Acacia Hotel General Manager Duncan Mwangi said the western region tourism circuit offers an alternative to places such as Mombasa, Naivasha and Lamu.
Mr. Mwangi pointed out that so many improvements are happening in the western region like the Kenya Pipeline Jetty, the standard gauge railway which is coming soon and many flights to Kisumu International Airport urging that there is need to take advantage of the business flow and turn it into leisure tourism.