All is set for this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations in Nakuru County, with organisers putting the hiking of Menengai caldera in Bahati Constituency one of the adventures this year.
Nakuru County Tourism Association (NCTA), the county government and other players who are organising the celebrations assured residents and visitors of an experience of their lives when they visit for the annual celebrations on Friday September 27.
NCTA Chairman David Mwangi said tourism enthusiasts will have a free chance to hike the Menengai Caldera, the second largest caldera in Africa and among the biggest in the world.
“As it has been our norm, celebrations and tourism experiences will be the biggest attraction in this year’s World Tourisms Day celebrations. Fans interested in hiking the Menengai caldera will do so beginning at 8am in the morning to 1pm. This year, it is even going to be more adventurous,” said Mr Mwangi.
The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’ with Trade and Tourism Chief Officer Hussein Adan saying that the county wants to invest more of its resources in marketing itself as a safe travel destination in order to open more tourism opportunities.
“We have [organised] a number of activities which include the hiking of Menengai caldera which will start at the prestigious Maili Saba Camp in Bahati and end up at the peak of the caldera which is 2,278 metres above sea level and, let it be known that the hike is free of charge,” said Mr Adan.
Further, Mr Adan said those in attendance will also have the chance to visit the Kenyatta market at the heart of Nakuru town for the marketing and exhibition of tourism products and services on Friday and Saturday.
The event comes at a time when players in the sector have been advocating for the opening up of more frontiers in the sector in order to open up the region.
For example, the players are advocating for the use of the love story of Lord Egerton and Lord Delamere as a tool to market the county both nationally and internationally.
Mr Mwangi said the Egerton love story resonates with among foreign and local visitors and can be used to lure more tourists to the county and earn Kenya more foreign exchange.
“In Njoro, we have the Egerton castle that was built by Lord Egerton for his girlfriend who later refused to stay in it and until today, remains a castle that never had a queen,” said Mr Mwangi.
He further said that Nakuru was literally formed by two British settlers – Lord Egerton and Lord Delamare – and their evolved love stories can be well used to market the region.
“We want to project [Nakuru] as a county of love and that is important for people to know. The lives of the two settlers evolved through love.
“Lord Delamare owned what is today called the ‘Happy Valley’ stretching from Naivasha near the Crater Lake to Nyandarua. It was used to show the love and in simple terms Nakuru was formed as a love region,” he said.
Mr Mwangi gave the example of the Philadelphia state in the US, which is known as the state of love, and which informed the association to start the Nakuru love festivals that will begin in February next year.