KISUMU, Kenya, Oct 25 – Private investors have been urged to plunge into tourism investments around Lake Victoria following the upgrading of Kisumu Port.
A Director at Tourism Fund, Biko Gwendo says the lake region has potential that has not been fully tapped but remains promising.
Gwendo says basins’ of water bodies across the globe are always utilized in terms of tourism investments and Lake Victoria basin should not be an exception.
He says with the ongoing modernization of the Port, Kisumu is poised to attract investors on water sports tourism, nature and wildlife tourism, agro-tourism and cultural heritage tourism.
“Private sector investment is a very good indicator of the fact that this market is ready to receive visitors,” he said.
Gwendo says the lake is enough to boost earnings for the counties bordering it if put into proper utilization by the private sector.
He says limited investment in the lake over years has stunted the growth of tourism in the region.
Speaking in Kisumu on Friday during a meeting by Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO), Gwendo says employment opportunities for the jobless youth will be in plenty if the lake is fully utilized.
“When the Port is opened, then we would then be able to attract private investors like for example the dinner cruise,” he said.
Biko says with cruise ships doing inter cities within the lake, Kisumu city and the neighboring counties will immensely benefit from revenue as a result of the high number of tourists visiting.
“For example, you can have a cruise ship that does Kisumu, Entebe, Mwanza, Bukoba and Rusinga Island. When we have those cruise ships then investors can then invest in those places,” he said.
He announced that the Trust is soon opening up Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria as one of the top end, high end tourism attraction for resort.
Gwendo further advised counties along the lake region to ease the process of setting up tourist hotels by investors as a way of opening the region.
He says the process of licensing must be made quicker and with incentives to ensure the region attracts more tourists’ friendly hotels along the lake.
Gwendo says that will be the only sure way of opening the tourism potential of the region adding that the western circuit has great potential.
“The counties in the region now have no option but to get friendly to investors keen on tapping the potential within and around Lake Victoria,” he said.