By Ann Mburu
Tourism stakeholders in the South Coast are calling on the government to develop an annual event that will serve as a platform to market the area as a tourist destination.
They say the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo that was held in South Coast last year helped boost tourism recovery efforts which should be sustained.
As our coast reporter Ann Mburu reports stakeholders are banking on improved ferry service at the Likoni channel as well as expansion of the Ukunda Airstrip to attract more tourists to the South Coast.
It is a breath of fresh air for Kwale County as the tourism industry is slowly bouncing back.
The county boasts of Diani Beach which has for the second consecutive year won Africa’s leading beach destination at the travel awards.
Michael and Gillian Leimi is a couple from England who have over the last 30 years been visiting Kenya.
The Britons say they fell in love with Diani and are among tourists who call Diani their second home.
In addition, Ukunda Airstrip is being expanded in efforts to accommodate larger capacity aircrafts something tourism stakeholders have welcomed.
Riding on the success of the 5th Annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo that was held at the South Coast, hoteliers in the area feel the government should make the exhibition an annual event.
The Likoni channel has been a nightmare to the commuters and tourists.
The channel has made headlines because of the unending ferry breakdowns, congestion and traffic snarl ups. This has however changed as Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya explains.
10km solar electricity street lights have been erected along key roads in Diani which has enabled tourists to feel safe moving around the area. In addition, Kwale county government plans to construct stalls for beach operators to address cases of tourist harassment.
Kwale county government which has earmarked five million shillings for marketing the area as a tourist destination, plans to send a team to Germany next month during the five-day the International Travel Trade Show in Berlin.