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10 Western Counties form regional tourism body

12 September 2014, 09:32 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu - A regional tourism body comprising the 10 counties from the former Western and Nyanza provinces has been formed to help in a collective marketing strategy for the region.

Kisumu County Trade and Tourism Executive, Dr. Rose Kisia, said the new body, Lake Victoria Kenya Tourism Board (LVKTB), was set to replace the existing Western Region Tourism Board that she previously chaired before her appointment to the national board.

Dr. Kisia said the decision was arrived at after deliberations by Tourism and Trade County executives from Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisii, Migori, Nyamira, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga.

She added that policy paper that will establish the joint tourism board is in the works.

“We have decided to form a regional tourism board that will cover the western Kenya tourism belt in a bid to collectively market the region,” said Dr. Kisia.

Also Read: Uhuru introduces measures to boost tourism

Addressing the press in Kisumu, Busia County Tourism Executive Hilary Mahulo said that one of the initial activities of the board is a combined cultural festival in December aimed at marketing the tourism sector in the region.

Mahulo said the cultural festival will showcase the local tribes’ culture, culinary skills and music.

Culture of the Luhya, Luo and Gusii communities would feature alongside those from the Nubians, Indians, Kuria and the Teso.

Mahulo went on to urge the Tourism Regulatory Authority to conduct a preliminary assessment of hotels in the region prior to the official classification.

He said the preliminary report will enable hotel management to do necessary upgrades according to recommendations so that they can achieve the highest ratings possible.

“As regional counties in the western tourism belt, we want our hotels to have international standards to ease our marketing efforts and expenses. We hope the move will raise the hospitality standards here by fostering competition,” added Mahulo.

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