Turkana to turn around Kenya tourism sector
Turkana County could emerge as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kenya with its unexploited cultures and being the origin of mankind. The fossil of the Turkana Boy that dates back to 1.6 million years has proven that this is the oldest remains of man in the world thereby making Turkana archeologically the origin of man.
The site of excavation has now been gazetted and a monument erected to preserve this important history for man. The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Trade and Industry, Phyllis Kandie while addressing international journalists in Berlin said the unveiling of the Turkana boy monument this month in Kenya, will be a big thing for both Turkana County and the Country. “Our strategy has definitely changed, the unveiling of Turkana boy expected to take place this month, is the biggest opportunity for the county itself, the North Rift region and the whole country”, said Kandie.
Kandie said the monument will promote pilgrimage tourism whereby people will be flocking to Kenya to
“I want to encourage the counties to map out their various products within the circuits they fall under, so that as a country we have diversified products to offer to both local and international tourists”, said Kandie.
see the historical site of origin of man. While Kenya has always marketed itself with the big beaches along the coastal region, Kandie said the new strategy for tourism is to expand and
diversify the tourism products.
Kandie while visiting the Turkana Station on the Kenyan stand stated, “Turkana has beautiful and unexploited cultures which Kenya needs to tap and I like the vigorous dances which in their own right are aerobics.”
Kandie argued that the traditional festyles and cultures should be preserved not only for tourists but for future generations.
Hon. Linus Ebenyo, the County Executive for Tourism, Trade and Industry for Turkana County displayed and explained the various products Turkana was marketing to the German Market. The Turkana County team led by the Deputy Governor, Peter Ekai were also out to popularize the 2nd edition of the Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival – Tobong’u Lore (Welcome back home) 2015, which will be held from 27th – 30th August in Lodwar.
Turkana Boy with the slogan of ‘Origin of mankind’ featured most at the station. It also featured on the overall programme for the Kenyan stand. Speaking on phone from Lodwar, Governor Nanok said he was very excited that Turkana was going to give Kenya a turning point in tourism.
“Having worked as an Assistant Minister for tourism in this country previously, I have always known that the change of strategy is what we needed. I am glad that we are now able to see that the products we have always marketed Kenya with are not exclusively unique and are available elsewhere in the World. The only thing Kenya has and will never share with anyone in the World is the Origin of mankind”, said Nanok.
Governor Nanok said the Turkana boy fossil currently preserved at the Kenya Museum in Nairobi will soon find its way back home to Turkana into an epic museum and probably the largest in the whole of the African continent, whose architectural plans are being drawn from the US with thehelp of Dr. Richard Leakey.
Governor Nanok, said while Turkana has almost 56 tourism products, the brand his County should be identified with, is The Origin of Mankind.
Responding to concerns about tourists being scared by insecurity in some parts of Kenya, Kandie said safety was relative the world over. She said despite the fact that terrorism was a global war, Kenya was determined to secure its borders.
“We have put measures in place including recruiting more into the forces and also increasing the budgetary allocation for security”, said Kandie adding that the situation would improve soon.
Last year November, Kenya went to market and reassure the English markets in London, Excel and now it is wooing the German and Swiss markets in Berlin.
The trade Fair which begun in 1966 is the largest and leading travel trade fair in the World, held every year. The second largest, is the World Travel Market, WTM in Excel London.
In this year’s edition, 185 countries from all over the world including South Sudan, the youngest participated in the show that closed on Saturday 7 March.
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