Like phoenix, Lamu tourism sec­tor rises

We have no doubt in our minds the sec­tor has res­ur­rected – of­fi­cial Ghalib Alwy

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Coast - CHETI PRAXIDES @TheS­tarKenya

The tourism sec­tor in Lamu is show­ing strong signs of re­vival, a tourism of­fi­cial has said.

Lamu Tourism Board deputy chair­man Ghalib Alwy yes­ter­day said 50,000 lo­cal and for­eign tourists vis­ited the county for the re­cent 16th Lamu Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.

Alwy said tourists are re­gain­ing con­fi­dence in the county. He said many peo­ple are build­ing homes. Alwy praised the na­tional gov­ern­ment for im­prov­ing security.

He said Op­er­a­tion Linda Boni helped re­store calm.

“We have no doubt in our minds the tourism sec­tor has res­ur­rected. It’s a new dawn for us. If you com­pare the num­ber of tourists this year to previ- ous years, you will see there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease. Our ho­tels are re­ceiv­ing guests from Ger­many, the UK, France, the US and Switzer­land,” Alwy said.

Act­ing Tourism ex­ec­u­tive Kav­iha Khamis said the county will or­gan­ise more fes­ti­vals to mar­ket it.

The sec­tor took a hit af­ter the 2014 al Shabaab at­tacks that killed more than 60 peo­ple. Prop­erty worth mil­lions of shillings was de­stroyed in Mpeke­toni, Kibaoni, Witu and Hindi.

The at­tacks were car­ried out be­tween June 15 and 17. On June 15 masked gun­men hi­jacked a van and raided a po­lice sta­tion in the pre­dom­i­nantly Chris­tian town of Mpeke­toni.

More than 50 peo­ple were killed. On June 17, as­sailants set fire to houses in the vil­lages of Ma­jem­beni and Poromoko, near Mpeke­toni. At least 15 peo­ple were killed in the overnight at­tack.

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