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Kenya eyes Gastronomy as an element of tourist attraction

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By Eunice Wawuda

Kenya’s tourism industry is staring at a rebound period with the next two months likely to see major hotels in the country reopen after nearly 2 years of closure due to the effects Covid-19.

Some of the establishments lined up for reopening in April and May include Fairmont the Norfolk, Radisson Blue located at Upper Hill and the Mount Kenya Safari club among others.

Speaking during the launch of a gastronomy tourism video experience which highlights and promotes Nairobi as a prime gastronomy destination, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala said that the industry was looking forward to improved numbers within the period.

Such re-openings are expected to bring a fresh breath into the sector that has been slowed with the effect of the corona pandemic. He called on the industry to innovate on ways to improve their businesses to cater for the needs and preferences of the traveler.

“This launch of gastronomy promotional video is part of a pilot project to promote the culinary experiences in Nairobi and other restaurants within the country. We want to do more and bring in more players in the sector” Balala pointed out.

In recent years, gastronomy has become one of the main sources of attraction in the tourist destinations. Gastronomy industry in the world is a multi-billion dollar economy, making it a key opportunity for the players in the sector to tap into.

The gastronomy experience video is a pilot project commenced by six restaurants; Boho Eatery, the View, Gaze, Chopo House, Inti and Nyama Mama with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. It highlights the growth of local and international cuisine restaurants in Nairobi which adds value to the Kenyan experience for travelers.

“Gastronomy has opened up a new area for our industry which is hospitality and Tourism. This is because it presents interesting opportunities that combine culture and food it currently has a market value of about 1,116 billion dollars which is expected to rise to about 1,796.5 billion dollars by 2027 which shows why we should tap into it.

We shall continue to work together with stakeholders from the sector to ensure that we market and get maximum value from this sub-sector,” said Kenya Tourism Board CEO Dr Betty Radier.

Tourism is a value chain enabler that supports sectors like agriculture, infrastructure and transport. The transformation of Nairobi due to the infrastructural developments on roads, hotels and tourist attractions will have a positive effect on tourism in the city. Visitors who want to enjoy food, business, safari or nature will have easy access making it an attractive destination.

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