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Kisumu the next tourist destination, says Kandie

20 January 2015, 08:41 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu - The increased number of visitors to the Western Kenya tourist circuit has posed a challenge to investors in the hospitality sector.

The investors are challenged to develop and improve facilities to cater for the growing demand.

According to East African Community, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Phyllis Kandie, the region has witnessed an increase in hotel bed night’s occupancy in the last few years.

She said there was a 37 percent increase in hotel bed occupancy in Nyanza region at night from 252 100 in 2013 to 345 000 bed nights last year with a similar rise in visitations to various tourist attractions in the region.

The Western region on the other hand recorded 464 300 bed nights.

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Speaking on Sunday in Kisumu when she officially opened Wigot Garden Hotel, Kandie noted that Kisumu museum recorded a 4.2 percent increase in visitations from 144 900 in 2012 to 151 200 in 2013.

“The growth in tourism numbers demonstrates an increase for the leisure industry services not only in more beds, but also to high-end hotels with quality services,” she said.

Kandie, who was accompanied by Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i called on the investors to take advantage of the centrality of Kisumu town in the East African Community and invest in business tourism.

“Kisumu town is well positioned as a gateway to the East African region, a commercial and an ICT destination,” she said.

Dr. Matiang’i called on leaders in Nyanza region to help foster unity amongst the electorate by avoiding politicizing government development programmes.

On church matters, the CS took a swipe at the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church leadership for allowing divisive issues to divide the Church.

Dr. Matiang’i, who is an SDA member lamented that tribalism had divided the Church, wondering why faithful from Kisii region have to travel 300 kilometres to Nairobi to attend Union conferences, yet the church’s Gendia headquarters is situated only a few kilometres away.

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