Restocking of parks and aggressive marketing has boosted tourism in the Kenyan city of Kisumu. Hotels in Kisumu town are recording booming business following an upsurge of visits by domestic and foreign tourists to the region. Robinson Anyal, the chairman of hotel managers in Kisumu, yesterday said most hotels are fully booked.
He said restocking of the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Ruma and Ndere national parks has contributed to the boom. “Since the Kenya Wildlife Service restocked the parks, we have seen an increase of visitors to the parks, which also benefits the hotel industry,” said Anyal. He said the Kenya Tourist Board and Lake Victoria Tourist Association have been aggressively marketing the circuit.
Anyal added: “Private investors have also played a part in the marketing of the region, which has opened up the region. Many tour companies have come up in the town.” He called on investors to put up three star hotels in the lakeside town. “At the moment, Kisumu’s biggest hotel has a bed capacity of 105 but there is need for a facility with a bed capacity of 200 and above,” said Anyal, who is also the general manager of Parkview Safari Hotel and Apartments.
Kisumu, he said, has a huge potential which has not been exploited, further noting that the biggest conference facility at the Tom Mboya Labour College hosts 1,500 visitors. “Kisumu has of late seen a lot of investments coming up but most of them have a capacity of between 20 and 50 rooms,” said Anyal.
He advised investors to take advantage of loans from the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation to put up facilities in Kisumu. “Early next year, Kisumu will host an investors’ conference to be organised by the Lake Victoria Tourist Association,” said Anyal.