Tour operators and stakeholders from Kenya and Uganda met in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa for three days to find ways they can maximize the tourism potential between the two neighboring countries.
According to Uganda’s Consul General to Mombasa, Mr. Paul Mukumbya, the arrangements were aimed at creating partnerships between key players in the tourism sectors of Uganda and the Kenya Coast.
The conference was organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Uganda in Mombasa, in partnership with key tourism players in Uganda and the Kenya Coast. Other key supporters in the arrangeme nt were the Uganda Tourism Association, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, the Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Airlines, the Kenya Coast Tourist Association, the Counties of Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale and many other partners and well-wishers.
Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that among other things, the three-day conference explored was the opportunities in joint marketing of the tourism products. And to equip the key tourism players with first-hand experience of the key tourism attractions.
Promotion and popularization of the Entebbe-Mombasa route plied by Uganda Airlines also formed part of the talking points at the event organized under the theme “Strengthening Networks, Synergies, and Diversity to maximize the tourism potential between Uganda and the Kenya Coastal Region.
It is worth noting that Kenya’s coastal region is home to various attractions that include Fort Jesus that was built between 1593 and 1596 on the orders of Portuguese King Felipe II, unique safaris, beaches and historical heritage making the two nations ideal for travel.
Other facilities within the coastal belt, Kwale County to be particular; include Baobab Beach Resort, The Residence at Leopard, Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, Kinondo Kwetu which scooped various awards at the 2022 World Travel Awards which were held in Nairobi.
Kwale Governor, Fatuma Mohamed Achani said efforts are underway to develop other attraction sites such as Majimoto, Wasini Boardwalk, Shimoni and Fikirini caves and First World War Memorial graves at Mkongani among others.
KENYA COASTAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION
According to the Chairman of Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) Victor. M. Shitakha, the event was historic because it is the first-ever regional tourism conference and business to business engagement to be held at the Kenya Coast.
Suffice to note is that the conference is of key significance to Uganda, which for a decade has seen a spike in tourists’ numbers, according to government. A concept note shows that tourism arrivals in Uganda, as of 2021 stood at 512,945. Out of these, 326,387 were from Kenya, which translates to 63.63% of all arrivals in Uganda.
Between January and March 2022, close to 95,000 Kenyans visited Uganda for various reasons. There is increasing demand for Kenyan visitors to Uganda due to various events that have taken place in Kampala such as Golf and Rugby tournaments, festivals, music concerts among others.
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