The County Directorates of Tourism, Culture and Heritage are developing and diversifying tourism and cultural products, in recognition of the traditional beach and wildlife safari products that need to be in line with changing travel trends and patterns.
Speaking during Tourism, Culture and Heritage Cluster Coordination meeting yesterday, Director for Tourism, Benedict Mukoo pointed out that there should be a strategic plan that guides domestic and international tourists to visit various attraction destinations across the county.
“The Strategic Plan will be our tool for marketing Turkana. In this regard, we have to focus on facilitating development and promoting sport, cultural products, conference and shopping tourism as additional products”. Said Mukoo.
Director stated that the Directorate will widen its focus to include markets within Kenya and globally as Turkana is endowed with a wealth of tourist attractions sites. The County’s diversity is boosted by the variety of flora and wildlife heritage.
He added that the Directorate has been successful in integrating the development of tourism into the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) as a master plan for the Development in the next five years.
Mukoo noted that the government has taken deliberate measures to ensure tourism staff are fully trained for this emerging economic opportunity as well as training for tourism sectors such as hotel management, housekeeping, food production, front office and food and beverage services.
Ag Director for Culture and Heritage Mr. Philip Lokaala has emphasised the importance of preserving the cultural heritage as it keeps integrity of the Turkana people.
“The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next”. Argued Lokaala.
The Ministry of Tourism is developing and diversifying tourism products, recognizing that the traditional beach and wildlife safari products need to be in line with changing travel trends and patterns, said Benedict Mukoo who is also the Director of Tourism when he gave his opening remarks during Tourism, Culture and Heritage cluster coordination meeting today in a hotel in Lodwar. Mukoo pointed out that Tourists want a multiplicity of activities and experiences. He added that in its strategic plan, the ministry highlighted the need to facilitate development and promotion of sport, cultural, conference and shopping tourism as additional products.
Ag. Director for Culture and Heritage, Philip Lokaala emphasized the importance of preserving w cultural heritage as it keeps the integrity of Turkana as a people.
“The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next”. Explained Lokaala.
A visit to Turkana Land, he added, offers one a chance to experience the fascinating pastoralist way of life thus a need to market Turkana to a wider scale is a commitment to all the people.
Turkana is among, Director Culture disclosed, a few places in Africa where a traditional culture of its uniqueness, integrity, beauty and with a wealth of dresses, hairstyles, jewellery, sayings, tales, songs, craftsmanship and knowledge.
Tourism and Culture Stakeholders agreed to have a role to ensure Turkana tourism and cultural products are well marketed within and globally for unique identification and belonging.
Stakeholders present composed of hospitality industry, artefacts, artists, elders among others.