By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu hosted the 2021 United Nations World Tourism (UNWT) Day at the Ndere Island National Park, one of the citadel sites of the county.
This year’s UNWT day-themed ‘Tourism for Inclusive growth’ is a celebration that was marked globally to gun trigger the restoration of tourism around the world following the covid-19 challenges towards the sector. Tourism and hospitability are one of the hardest hit, creating a precarious business climate for the sector.
The 27th of September manifested the annual tourism day with international celebrations marked across the world and national celebrations held in Kwale county. Kisumu County also joined the world to host regional celebrations at Ndere Island with the focus to help kickstart recovery and growth of the sector in an event that was Covid compliant.
The event that was graced by the Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili, key note speaker of the day Esther Munyiri, Director of Global Tourism Resilience & crisis Management Centre, Director of Operation Pollman’s Tours & safaris Mohammed Harsi who engaged the audience via Switch Tv discussion moderated Robert Burale.
Speaking during the celebrations, Dr. Owili emphasized the county Government commitment in promoting tourism in the western circuit through aggressive investments in the hospitality and maritime sectors, noting that Kisumu already boasts unrivaled sceneries and game population that has made the region a leading tourism destination.
The county minister for Tourism, Culture and Sports, Achie Alai together with the Lake Basin Tourism Association stakeholders promised to ensure that the Tourism sector comes to life with the sounds and color of Kisumu. “We look forward to giving the opportunity to explore the history of the island and to boldly showcase Kisumu as a tourist destination.” Says Achie.
As the world begins to open up again, the County Government welcomes all stakeholders, businesses and individuals to have conversations echoing conservancy around Lake Victoria, ecology, the impact of Covid and the focus on tourism’s unique ability to ensure that nobody is left behind as the county looks to the future. According to Achie Alai, the 2021 UNWT Ndere National Park experience is planned to be a motivation to help kickstart recovery and growth in the sector.
The UNWT celebrations also explored the impressive citadel of the Ndere Island, offering a learning highlight of its fascinating history accompanied by a costumed guide and tree planting scheduled around the Ndere National Park.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the 4.2KM Ndere island owes its existence to Lake Victoria, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Kenya.
The celebration was a hybrid event which kicked off with a one our ride through the lake from Kisumu Port, on a water bus cruising across to the island and was supported by various stakeholders and players from the tourism and hospitality industry as well as the business stakeholders in Kisumu.