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Opinion by Justin Tuti

Is the government doing enough to promote tourism in the country?
Many developing countries especially here in Africa have banked in tourism to develop their countries and it has paid.

Good example is Seychelles, Mauritius and I can say Botswana too especially to wildlife.
Today I’ll talk about SPORTS TOURISM in Kenya. To my opinion the government is not doing enough. In 1993 Kenya won the 1996 hosting rights to host AFCON but due to lack of commitment from the government and also misadvise to the president politically Kenya lost to South Africa.

In 2018 we lost another chance to Morocco. Such tournaments or events would have helped in redefining Kenyan Tourism as off late we have been struggling with Travel Advisories. For us to host such tournaments we should have sports facilities of international standards. Sadly the best that we have Kasarani and Nyayo were constructed under Moi there is no latest one.

photo courtesy – Tembea Kenya

Day in day out empty promises. Now Tanzania are constructing biggest stadium in East African region in Dodoma. Ethiopian government one day woke up and constructed Seven of them. South Africa to date still benefit from 2010 World as they used the tournament to market their attractions that’s what I mean by redifing tourism. Sadly our government doesn’t appreciate our sportsmen and women.

When they triumph as we congratulate them for making us proud. As their friends and relatives wait for them at JKIA to give them heroic welcome the tax man later chase after them to tax them just for representing our country yet in other countries the state will go further to spoil them with expensive gifts like homes and vehicles. That’s why we lose our talented sportspeople as they choose to represent other nations best example is Wilson Boit Kipketer who changed nationality to represent Denmark.

This is due to little or zero consideration in sports. What if kibaki and coalition government would have come up at least with 2 stadia. One in mombasa and another in kisumu for example. Then Uhuru one in nakuru. We would have hosted successful Chan tournament in 2018.
Lets come to MICE Tourism. MICE means Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions. Kenya we only have KICC yet Tanzania brag of Arusha International Convention Centre in Arusha and Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar.

To my opinion it was laughable when I heard tourism stakeholder in Kenya saying that they want to put Kenya in continental map in MICE Tourism yet we have only one KICC yet South Africa have got Convention Centres in each of their provinces. Can’t compare KICC with ICC in Durban and CTICC in Cape Town. Same as Egypt whom they have state of art convention centres. I’m yet even to talk about the one in Ethiopia Addis Ababa which is the AU head office and Kigali International Convention Centre.

It will be better if the government come up with another 2 state of art Convention Centres in our other 2 cities that’s Mombasa and Kisumu.

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