Kenya to leverage on athletics prowess to boost tourism

By agencies

Kenya plans to leverage on the global recognition of its athletes in order to boost the tourism sector, senior officials have said.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said that apart from wildlife, which is prime tourist attractions, the country’s image is globally recognized for her athlete’s prowess.

“Our athletes make a big name for us overseas whenever they win, especially marathons. That is why we shall put a team to document all athletes in Kenya since independence to honor them. We will use these athletes to promote tourism in the country,” Balala said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said that Kenya is keen to diversify its tourism portfolio in order to expand employment and revenues generated from travellers.

Balala said the government is also looking into identifying, developing, and marketing the North Rift region, which is home to elite marathoners as a tourism hub.

In order to achieve this goal, the cabinet secretary urged each County in the North Rift to identify two prime products to conceptualize and market, as a basis of promoting the area as a new tourism circuit.

Sabina Kwekwe Tsungu, principal secretary in the Ministry of Tourism said the government is committed to turn untapped tourism potential to wealth so as to enrich the livelihoods of the people residing in the North Rift region.

Stephen Sang, governor of Nandi County, said the region has potential for sports tourism, cultural tourism, and agro-tourism, and that he was looking forward to partnerships that will open up the area to both domestic and international visitors.