Revive Lamu festivals to attract tourists, county leadership told - Beaking Kenya News

Beaking Kenya News

Where It All Happens

Breaking Kenya News

Websites Development


Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Revive Lamu festivals to attract tourists, county leadership told

 Tourism stakeholders in Lamu are pushing for the return of the numerous annual festivals that have previously been used as a platform to market the region.

All the festivals were held on Lamu Island, which became famous and was often referred to as the "island of festivals".

The festivals include Eid-Ul-Adha, Maulidi Festival, Food and Expo Festival, Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and Lamu Painters Festival.

The festivals would be conducted separately in different months and were known to attract thousands of tourists and visitors from far and wide.

Most often come to witness and experience the unique feeling that comes with each of the festivals. Each festival often attracts more than 30,000 tourists and visitors to Lamu.

The festivals were crucial in marketing Lamu’s tourism sector that had plummeted following the 2014 Mpeketoni terror attacks.

Traders reaped huge profits from the high number of visitors. But in recent years, the festivals have failed to take place.

Stakeholders want the county government to take charge and ensure the festivals are held like it was previously done. Hotelier Salim Abubakar admitted that the tourism sector wasn’t doing as well as it used to without the festivals.

“They were not just normal festivals. Each one was crucial in its own way and played a great role in reviving the tourism sector. The region has benefitted a lot from them. We just realised that the county government was no longer hosting most of the festivals and we want to know why,” Abubakar said.

Hotelier and former Lamu Tourism Association deputy chairperson Ghalib Alwy said the festivals should be revived to attract tourists who have been scared away by acts of terrorism in various parts of Lamu.

He wondered why the county government was not making an effort to promote and keep hosting the festivals.

“Those are not just your everyday festivals, they are special as they brought life back to Lamu after the terror attacks. We are calling on the county government to bring back the festivals,” Alwy said.

Businessman Mohamed Hassan said the fact that some western countries still have active travel advisories on Lamu was proof that the festivals are still needed to restore confidence in visitors.

"The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism sector stands on its feet again," Hassan said.

No comments: