Kilifi County Government to promote sports tourism, Mung’aro

Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro has said his administration will build a sports complex and partner with the national government and investors to revive the country’s tourism sector.

He at the same time said that his administration will sponsor a bill in the Kilifi County Assembly that would seek to establish the Kilifi Tourism Board and hoped that the proposal would receive the approval of the members of the County Assembly (MCA). , who are still sworn in office.

Mung’aro, who was inaugurated last week as the new county Chief Executive, said the revival of the tourism sector in Kilifi was paramount as it would lead to the revival of the area’s economy, hence the need to promote local and international tourism through beaches, national marine parks, sports and conferences.

The governor was speaking at Malindi Gold Club at the closing of the two-day Vasco da Gama Open Golf Tournament organized by the club in collaboration with the Kenya Golf Union and sponsored by the Family Bank Group among other organisations.

Mung’aro said it had been his desire to promote beach volleyball in Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu, adding that the 135-hectare Malindi golf course could also be upgraded to host national and international events and thus attract tourists, both locally and internationally. .

“Sports tourism is one of our target areas as we start to revive tourism in this region. That is why among the things you have seen in my manifesto is the construction of the Kilifi International Sports Complex so that we can promote tourism through sports nationally, regionally and internationally,” he said.

“One of the things we hope to do is to collaborate with hoteliers. I hope that once the county assembly opens, the MCAs will pass the Kilifi Tourism Board law so that we can have our own marketing strategies instead of relying on the National Government through the Kenya Tourism Board.

“We also intend to collaborate with hotels and see how we can promote conference tourism because that is what we lack,” Mung’aro said.

He expressed optimism that the expansion of the Malindi International Airport and the upgrading of the Mombasa-Malindi road to a dual carriageway would boost the tourism sector as tourists would either land directly at Malindi or take a shorter time from the Moi International Airport. in Mombasa in Malindi and Kilifi.

He said his administration would immediately begin cleaning up Malindi city, which was once declared the cleanest in East and Central Africa when Mung’aro was mayor of Malindi between 2000 and 2002.

“We have started by ensuring that the street lights in Malindi are working and we hope to soon start cleaning Malindi town with the aim of returning the tourist center to its past glory, he said.

Kenya Golf Union chairman Njani Ndiritu said there was great potential for sports tourism in Kilifi following the walk and stretch at the Malindi golf course, which he noted had hosted the first KGU tournament for amateur golfers. .

Malindi Golden Club Chairman Tukero ole Kina has urged the Kilifi government and other benefactors to support the club in its bid to upgrade the golf club by increasing the number of holes from the current thirteen to eighteen in order to do so. ready for national and international tour.

He said the club had managed to secure the course by surrounding all 135 hectares and efforts were being made to find permanent water sources to irrigate it to make it suitable for racing.

The overall tournament winner was Uganda’s Michael Olunga who scored a gross of 146 followed by Isaac Makokha (147) and Sammy Mulama (155).

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