Hotels full ahead of Tharaka cultural festival - Daily Nation
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Hotels full in Tharaka Nithi towns ahead of cultural fest

Sunday August 19 2018

Marimanti Baobab Lodge in Tharaka Nithi County.

Marimanti Baobab Lodge in Tharaka Nithi County. The hotel's manager, Mr Lawrence Njagi, on August 19, 2018 said rooms were fully booked last week ahead of this week's Ura Gate cultural festival. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ALEX NJERU
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Tharaka business community is hoping to reap big as the region holds the third edition of four-day Ura Gate Tharaka Cultural Festival and Exhibition starting Wednesday.

Hotels, lodges and tented camps as well as holiday facilities in Mukothima, Marimanti and Gatunga towns and inside Meru National Park which are within the outskirts of Shauri market, the venue where the festival will take place, are already fully booked..

Addressing journalists at Marimanti on Sunday, Tharaka-Nithi Tourism chief officer Diego Ngugi said 400 visitors will be accommodated in homestays.

“Hotels in neighbouring towns and those in Meru National Park are already fully booked but there are few remaining homestays which county government has inspected and recommended for visitors,” said Mr Ngugi.

He said the event that will be opened by Deputy President William Ruto and closed by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

The event is expected to attract at least 15,000 people daily. 

Mr Ngugi said Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa, his Public Service counterpart Prof Margaret Kobia are among high-profile guests expected to grace the event.

HOMESTAYS

Marimanti Boabob Lodge manager Lawrence Njagi on Sunday said all their rooms had been fully booked more than a week ago.

“We expect to reap big out of the festival because all our rooms are already booked,” said Mr Njagi.

He said hotels in the neighbouring towns were also fully booked forcing visitors to seek accommodation in homestays identified by the county government.

He said charges for accommodation had also gone up due to increased demand.

“Rooms that go for Sh2,000 a night are now costing Sh3,500 because demand is very high and customers are ready to pay any amount,” he said.

 The fete is themed ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change through Culture’ and the Tharaka community is expected to showcase its rich heritage, including traditional food, dances, arts and also contemporary music among others.

“We also expect tourists, universities, business communities, corporates, county governments and other investors will find, in this festival, an ideal opportunity to engage and exhibit their products,” he said.

SECURITY

Tharaka-North OCPD Joseph Kavoo said security has been heightened in the region that sometimes experiences bandit attacks.

“We assure our visitors and locals tight security as they enjoy the fete,” said Mr Kavoo.

 He said police had already started patrolling the area day and night and asked attendants to cooperate with security checks.