The Lamu County government is set to start training tour guides and beach and boat operators to boost the tourism sector hard hit by the impact of Covid-19.
The County government is also set to kick off tourism digital marketing as a way of boosting Lamu’s profile on the global stage as one of the best tourism hubs.
Speaking during a courtesy call by the newly appointed Lamu Trade Association officials (LTA), Trade Tourism and Enterprise Development CEC Josphat Musembi stated that the training programme would aid in weeding off quacks in tourism industry in the county.
“The training of tour guides in Lamu would aid in adding value for tourists visiting Lamu, who can sometimes miss out on the full Swahili experience that the county offers,” Musembi stated.
He added that despite the international travel challenges due to the impact of Covid-19, tourism in Lamu was picking up mainly due to the lifting of travel restrictions that had kept the bulk of tourists off the historical town.
“Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, tourism in Lamu today owes a huge debt to domestic tourists whose bookings have kept most hotels open,” Lamu Trade Association Vice Chairman Fridah Njogu stated.
She added that LTA was keen on working with the county government in ensuring the revival of the tourism industry that took a hit last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As an association of mostly tourism sector stakeholders we will also be working with the Kenya National Museums in ensuring the Swahili Old Town heritage of Lamu Island is maintained through the sponsoring of training programmes for youths involved in the tourism sector,” Njogu said.
On his part Governor Fahim Twaha in a phone interview stated that the county government had already identified key critical areas that can stimulate the tourism sector in Lamu with funds already set aside to facilitate the training of 100 rangers who will be employed in the Dodori National reserve once it becomes operational next year.
“The tourism department is also setting up a Cultural Centre in Lamu Island and engaging boda boda operators working in Lamu Island to ensure their work does not compromise on the World Heritage allure of Lamu Old Town,” Governor Twaha added.
By Amenya Ochieng