Lamu tourism revived after cultural fete

Lamu tourism revived after cultural fete

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Kizingoni part of Lamu's heritage site. PHOTO: FILE

Lamu, KENYA: The tourism sector in Lamu county has shown great and positive signs of revival following the high number of local and foreign tourists who visited Lamu for the recently concluded 16th Annual Lamu Cultural Festival.

The sector has been facing numerous challenges owing to a shortage of tourists and more so after the 2014 Alshabaab terror attacks where at least 100 people lost their lives and property worth millions in Mpeketoni,Kibaoni,Witu and Hindi.

The deputy chairperson of the Lamu Tourism Board Ghalib Alwy said tourists were gaining confidence once again in the county.

He said many others were even setting permanent residences in the county.

Alwy said the situation is attributed to efforts made by the national government in fighting Alshabaab and addressing insecurity generally.

He lauded the operation Linda Boni saying the situation wouldn’t be better without it and that the operation had also been able to restore a sense of security and calm.

He noted that as opposed to previous similar festivals for the last several years,this years cultural fete had attracted a large number of tourists with over 50,000 turning up.

“As at now we have no doubt that the tourism sector has resurrected;its a new wake for us. If you compare the number of tourists this year and the previous years,there is a notable big difference. Our hotels are currently receiving guests from Germany,UK,France,US,Switserland and others,” said Alwy.

Acting county Tourism executive Kaviha Khamis sad their greatest hope is for the tourism sector to recover for good in the coming days.

Khamis said the county would continue to hold various festivals in order to maintain the image of Lamu as an island that was recently branded the ‘island of festivals’