By Atanas Walila, Kakamega
Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtuaa has said that Kenya can increase the number of tourists visiting the country by preserving and embracing our cultural heritage.
Speaking from Kakamega where Cultural and tourism festival was held, he said that improving the tourism sector shall provide employment as well as national revenue.
“We are very keen to working closely with the county governments so as to lift up the number of tourists coming to Kenya and by doing that, we increase the revenue hence creat jobs, improve our infrastructure, develop our institutions and provide food for the country,” said Ololtuaa
He added that they collected Sh268 billion in 2022 from the 1.4 million tourists that comprised of both local and international visitors.
He said that tourism is improving globally and Kenya is not left behind. He added that Kenya should expand on different areas towards increasing the number of tourists.
“Let us not target tourist for one day, let as serve a variety of things so when the tourist come, they will stay here for one week, two or even three,” said Ololtuaa
“We want to look at each and every county, what is different that they can offer because tourism has many things, we are working with the council of governors so that we can develop what is unique in each county,” added the PS
He mentioned the crying stone of Ilesi, Kakamega rainforest, Nabongo Mumia cultural center, Bull fighting and cock fighting as the the special features in Kakamega that can be marketed internationally.
On his side, Kakamega Deputy governor Ayub Savula advised Kenyans to embrace their local food and norms associated to eating those food.
“When eating chicken, our Luhya culture dictates who eats the neck, who eats the leg, the wings and all the parts,” said Savula
He described tourism as a form of leisure to everyone despite of their economic status.
“Those with so little can just take a walk to the Kakamega forest, do not go to Mombasa. Tourism is a chance to appreciate new things other than what we are used to to appreciate other people’s culture,” he added
On the other side Mr. Savula condemned the decision by high court to allow same sex people to form their association, saying that in Kakamega, they will use the strategy applied the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.