The Mombasa hospitality industry is gearing up for booming business ahead of this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations.
Hosting of this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa County this weekend is not only set to increase the fortunes of hoteliers and traders but would also create a sense of national pride to the residents of coast region.
The county will host the national fete at Mama Ngina Drive Waterfront Park on October 20.
It is the first time the second largest city to host national celebrations since independence. The revamped public park is expected to host more than 40,000 people.
The project is expected to promote the City’s history, culture of the people and offer an ideal venue for festivals and other social events.
This will be the first modem public recreational area that aims at transforming the famous Mama Ngina Drive to international standard and reposition Mombasa as a top tourist destination in the region.
The project is seen as an added product to the tourism sector as the country already offers a multifaceted destination combining exotic beaches, national parks and historical sites.
Stakeholders in the industry said the waterfront facility will raise the profile of Mombasa and other tourist areas in coast region and attract more international and local visitors.
The seafront project adjacent to Likoni ferry entails a public square, two iconic gateways, a Swahili cultural center, amphitheater, modern kiosks, restaurants and parking areas among other facilities.
The Treasury allocated Sh460 million in the 2018/2019 financial year as a one-off budget item under tourism recovery to complete the project.
The area, which is a favourite to many tourists, is broadly covered by Mama Ngina and Jomo Kenyatta public beaches.
“The hosting of the national celebrations at the newly unveiled recreational facility will add flavor to this year’s celebrations,” said Wafula Waswa, Marketing Manager of Travelers Beach Hotel.
Waswa noted that Kenyans from different parts of the country are expected to flock the coastal city which he said will result to booming business for hotels. “This will not only boost the fortunes of the hospitality industry but also the transport sector and other small traders,” said the hotelier.
He also said Kenyans will for the first time witness the hosting of national celebrations adjacent to the Indian Ocean.
The construction of the waterfront project is a major boost to the tourism industry and will also provide Kenyans and international visitors with a world-class recreational facility.
The Park is expected to promote the coastal city’s history, local people’s culture besides offering an ideal venue for festivals and other social events.
The Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Hotel Owners and Caterers Sam Ikwae said the facility will raise the profile of Mombasa as a waterfront destination and other tourist areas in coast region and attract more international and local visitors.
Ikwae noted that the park was a milestone to the industry and that will not only boost the number of tourists but also spur business and other economic activities in the region.
“The recreational facility will create job opportunities to those in the tourism related business, transporters and other entrepreneurs,” said Ikwae.
He commended both the national and county governments of Mombasa for initiating the project saying the traditional tourism products such as beaches and safari are becoming less attractive.
The Mashujaa day celebrations come at a time when coastal region is witnessing infrastructural transformation through various mega national government projects.
Among the on-going multi-billion projects are several key roads in all the six counties, Mombasa Port expansion, Dongo Kundu Economic Special Zone, Dongo Kundu By-pass and a modern cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa.
Mombasa will be the sixth county to host national celebrations after Meru, Nakuru, Machakos, Kakamega and Narok.