A team of 20 tourists from Coast has already confirmed their visit to Laikipia before end of November 2021, exactly a week after Laikipia made a marketing blitz in the coastal city of Mombasa. Various stakeholders showcased Destination Laikipia’ Products in Mombasa. The county government facilitated a meeting between Laikipia Tourism Association and their Mombasa counterparts. During the Coast visit, the two associations agreed to partner and market the two regions for mutual benefits. “There were over 25 exhibitors from manufacturing and tourism. The ones who could not make it had sent their exhibitions of which eight are in the Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development Programme,” Trade and Tourism CECM Biwott Tirop said.
According to the CEC there were many successful presentations that wooed many people triggered the desire to visit Laikipia. Another team from Mombasa Tourism Association will be in Laikipia from November 17 to 21 this year hosted by Laikipia Tourism Association to come and sample what Laikipia has for easier marketing. “We will have a MoU with the Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) and Laikipia Tourism Association for joint marketing and developing the complementary tourist products. This will ensure that tourists on a say like 10 -day visit to the country may spend six days at the Coast and the rest in Laikipia,” said Biwott. Laikipia also managed to sell some of the products made in the county. Laikipia has the best beef in the region and thus the participants were given some samples of over 700 kg premium beef to have a taste. During one of the meetings, Kenya Airports Authority assured that the construction and renovation activities of Nanyuki Airstrip will be complete by mid-December this year. This will have a direct impact on the number of visitors coming to Nanyuki and Laikipia at large henceforth. At times tourists have been coming to Laikipia just for game drives. The coastal visit provided the tourism sector to showcase how to add value to that service. Now visitors can combine the drive with quality beef and mountain climbing.
Some may ask, why go to Mombasa and you want visitors to come to Laikipia? The CECM says it was an opportunity for Laikipia to tell her own story. “Statistics from tourism sector show that coast receives the second highest number of tourists from all over the world after Nairobi, and thus we had gone to take advantage of this. Also, the Coast tourism is well structured and we have a lot to learn from them,” said the CECM. He explains that the association has managed to lobby for chartered flights from across the globe to destination Mombasa. Currently, they are working with two airlines- one a weekly flight from the Netherlands, and another weekly from Czech Republic. The duo carriage way coupled with the railway will also enhance more tourists to come to Laikipia, especially those who like road trips. “I am confident that this December Laikipia will be full especially after the new market from the Coast region,” Biwott said. He urges the hospitality players to ensure their services are always up to standard to cater for the huge numbers expected.