The Lamu Deputy Governor (DG), Abdulhakim Aboud Bwana has urged tourism sector stakeholders to increase their investment in the county due to Lamu’s growing status as a preferred tourist destination in the region.
Speaking to KNA on Friday during the 18th edition of the Lamu Cultural Festival, the DG stated that the county was already reaping the benefits of improved security and called on hoteliers to market themselves better in line with such festivals that are facilitated by the county government.
“It is the job of the county government to ensure that the environment is conducive for investors to especially in the tourism sector to reap dividends of the county’s status as a World Heritage Site,” Abdulhakim stated.
He stated that despite the lack of adequate funding, the county government has been able to muster resources from sponsors in hosting the Lamu Cultural Festival.
It is estimated that the county government has spent Shs. 30 million to host the Lamu Cultural Festival with the bulk of funding for the festival coming from sponsors.
“The county government recognizes that these festivals are key to the economy of Lamu because it is an opportunity for the county to showcase itself to tourists and that is why we are keen to ensure that the trend is supported for years to come,” the DG stated.
He also said that the county security team has assured the county government that adequate security has been deployed across the county with visitors still expected to come to Lamu today for the four day carnival.
He further revealed that the county has received a larger number of domestic tourists this year in comparison to last year with at least 50,000 people expected to attend the Lamu Cultural Festival.
Tourism stakeholders however, put the number at 30,000 tourists blaming poor organization this year for the decline in attendance.
“We would also like to urge boat operators to ensure the safety of travellers by ensuring that their boats are safe for travel with life jackets provided to the boat users,” Abdulhakim stated.
These sentiments were echoed by Lamu Kenya Maritime Authority Coordinator, Bernard Munga who urged boat operators to ensure that their safety jackets are clean and up to standard.
By Amenya Ochieng