The national government will work with counties in the North Rift to promote tourism in the area.
Tourism cabinet secretary Najib Balala said he will in the next two weeks send his principal secretary to discuss with the North Rift Economic Block (Noreb) chief executive officer on how they can have a strategy of sourcing funds to promote sports tourism in the area.
Noting that the area has a lot to offer in terms of sports, cultural and agro tourism, the CS said the promotion of the area will ensure that tourists have diverse tourism products in addition to spreading tourism all over the country.
Speaking in Iten after an extensive tour of sports facilities in Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties, Balala said the country had seen the value of what athletics can offer in terms of promoting the country internationally and therefore the need to promote sports tourism.
The CS said his tour was in honor of Eliud Kipchoge who is the Brand Kenya ambassador and who will be competing in the London marathon saying he would be watching the race from Eldoret town and was sure that Kipchoge would win.
Elgeyo Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos called for the support of both the ministry of tourism and Kenya Wildlife services in ensuring that Baringo county fence the Rimoi national game reserve from their end.
The governor regretted a case where some tourists came to the game reserve, but instead of seeing elephants, they found hundreds of cattle grazing. The cattle enter the reserve from the part of the game reserve which is not fenced in Baringo.
He also called on the CS to intervene and have residents who have lost their lives and crops to wildlife to get compensation.
On his part, Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago called on the ministry to conduct visibility studies of all tourist attractions in the north rift and later fully support two from each county.
This way, the governor said, will enable the region add to what is already in the tourism menu in the country.
While thanking the government for the resources it has put in the rehabilitation of sport stadia in the area, Mandago called for stern action to be taken against contractors who were frustrating the government’s efforts.
He said any contractor who does not have the capacity to complete a stadium in time should be removed and another one awarded the contract.
By Alice Wanjiru