The Kenyan government is keen on promoting cultural tourism to generate more tourism revenues. President William Ruto said the government will strategically use Kenya’s rich cultural heritage to diversify tourist attractions.
He argued that tourism is no longer just about sights and sounds but also about the people. The government will partner with counties to support cultural preservation initiatives.
President Ruto cited the provision of funds for Maa cultural festival that will be celebrated annually. “Today’s tourist is drawn to authentic cultural experiences; therefore, today’s tourism must meet a higher standard,” he explained.
These statements were made on Tuesday during the Maasai cultural festival at Sekenanie Gate, Narok County.
President Ruto was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Peninah Malonza (tourism) and Soipan Tuya (environment), Governors Patrick ole Ntutu (Narok), Joseph Lenku (Kajiado) and Jonathan Lati Leliliit (Samburu) and a host of MPs.
He noted that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has identified induction of boys ahead of initiation, shaving of morans and meat-eating ceremony that marks entry into adulthood as intangible cultural items.
“I extend my gratitude to the Maasai community for their unwavering commitment to the preservation of Maa traditions and culture. Your resilience has given Kenya a global identity and enriched our nation’s cultural mosaic,” he said.
The President said the government will start ceding 50 percent of revenues from national parks to host communities as part of efforts to transform their lives. He stated the move was aimed at benefiting host communities, through projects aimed at uplifting their lives.
“I have directed that all revenues from our national parks and game reserves should be divided equally between the host counties and the national government,” he said.