The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: North Rift Boosts Tourism

Three counties in the North Rift have merged to market the region as a tourist destination. Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Elgeyo Marakwet target to make Sh3 billion from tourism annually.

They have identified the industry, agriculture and trade, as the key pillars to economic growth.

"Tourism remains one of the most untapped industries in our region. We are working on plans to exploit the opportunities in our counties," said Uasin Gishu Trade and Tourism executive Phillip Melli.

Melli was speaking to the Star in his office in Eldoret yesterday. He said the counties are ready to take off and that they are still pushing ahead with the plan to form an economic block for six counties in the region.

The economic block will enable the counties to jointly market themselves and produce enough to meet market demands especially in the agriculture sector.

Rebranding based on athletics for the three counties is in a bid to tap into the athletics prowess to market opportunities available for investments as some of the best athletes in the world hail from the three counties.

Uasin Gishu will be branded as "the Champions", Elgeyo Marakwet "the Home of Champions" while Nandi will be "the Source of Champions".

The counties have already unveiled their flags and logos which recognise athletics as key in their marketing strategy.

At the same time, the counties in the North Rift intend to re-brand tourism attractions in the region in order to earn more revenue and achieve economic growth.

Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Pokot and Turkana have agreed to jointly map out the attraction sites.

The region has major tourism sites especially within the Kerio Valley and already Nandi County has identified 66 tourism attraction sites which will be developed and marketed abroad.

The counties will soon roll out development plans for the tourism sector and Melli says they will discus with other stakeholders on the plan.

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