Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Stunt in Mt. Kenya region pays off handsomely

According to tourism stakeholders, Balala’s feat put the region on the map with many people both local and international willing to embark on such an adventure.

Last month, Balala pulled yet another incredible feat after successfully conquering Mt. Kenya by ascending up to Lenana Summit in a bid to raise awareness of Kenya’s adventure tourism offering while profiling the mountain as a favourable tourist destination.

And the stunt seems didn’t go unnoticed; tourism numbers in Mt Kenya region have taken a big hike.

According to tourism stakeholders, Balala’s feat put the region on the map with many people both local and international expressing willingness to embark on such an adventure.

According to the region’s Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Chairman Edward Wangechi, hotels are now operating on a scale of between 30 to 60 per cent tourists flow up from 10 per cent.

And for the festivities, they are fully booked with bed occupancy at 90 per cent.

“We have revamped our tourism activities which apart from wildlife now includes agri-tourism, sports, water rafting, bike trails and Mt Kenya treks,” said Mr Wangechi.

For long, industry players in Mt. Kenya region have been scratching their heads looking for novel ways of attracting local and international visitors but not anymore.

“We have had the longest electioneering year where we were operating on a scale of zero to 10 per cent. We dealt a lot with cancellations,” he said.

An example of such cancellation was the Cape EpiC challenge that was scheduled to take place at the Naromoru River Lodge in Nyeri last month which was called off due to the political noise.

About four local teams including a Norwegian cycling team were expected to take part in the  220-kilometre series alongside tens of individual competitors.

County governments and hospitality stakeholders have now embarked on sporting activities to put the region at the centre of attention.

Laikipia County which for a long time has battle with negative publicity and described as a war-torn county occasioned by frequent bandit invasion for instance led by governor Ndiritu Muriithi drove for 180 kilometres in a move aimed at promoting tourism in a fleet of over 40 vehicles.

The amateur race was aimed at portraying the county as a safe destination for vacationers and also assure locals of their safety.

Leaders drove from Nanyuki to Lonyiek, one of the areas that are considered insecure due to threats posed by armed herders.

Laikipia is expecting more than 10,000 visitors both local and international.

“We have bounced back so well and we hope 2018 will be good as well,” said Mr Wangechi.

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