Bomas of Kenya celebrated its 50th anniversary with the launch of a revamped cultural and conference facility christened ‘Baraza Hall’ and a ‘Sample Bar Africa’ that enables digital preservation of traditional instruments.
Commending the Institution’s management for preserving, maintaining, educating and promoting the diverse cultures of about 48 ethnic groups in Kenya, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, said that Bomas of Kenya plays a major role in demonstrating the best of what Kenya has, making the facility a national heritage for prosperity and posterity.
“Authenticity of Kenya has not been lost because Bomas of Kenya takes care of it,” said Balala.
The CS encouraged Kenyan nationals to embrace integrity, honesty and hard work, stating that culture is more than a dress and being outdated.
“Let’s change the narrative of culture being a thing of the past or uncivilized. Culture should be seen as a lifestyle, even of today,” he urged.
Balala stated that the Ministry of Tourism is working with Public Private Partnership (PPP) at The National Treasury to strategize on how best facilities at Bomas of Kenya can be developed further to integrate cultural tourism and business tourism.
He further urged the youths to appreciate culture and contribute towards making it interesting for people to be associated with.
Bomas of Kenya Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Gitaa, said that the newly launched Baraza Hall, has a seating capacity for 950 delegates and has increased the seating capacity of the institution to about 5,500.
“As we celebrate 50 years since inception in October 1971, there is an urgent need to invest in cultural tourism as a country, because culture is a unique selling point in modern global tourism,” said Gitaa.
Explaining that Bomas of Kenya receives about 5,000 international visitors annually, the CEO stated that by modernizing the conferencing and exhibition facilities, it will provide room for an innovative approach to cultural preservation and use of digital technology.
He added that the modernization will also contribute in attracting more local and international tourists, thereby, spurring economic development while preserving cultural resources as well.
Gitaa further called for more strategic partnerships to boost the hospitality and tourism sectors which have been hardly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that Bomas of Kenya’s management is re-positioning itself to take-off after 50 years of existence, by injecting new impetus in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
By Moffin Opilio