Cultural Festival Boosts Tourism in Lamu

Lamu Sunrise

Hotels in Lamu are fully booked thanks to a popular Cultural Festival which begins on Thursday.

According to Lamu Cultural Festival chairman, Ghalib Alwy, the organizers of the event, some visitors were unable to secure bookings as hotels on the island were fully booked.

At least 40,000 local and international visitors, he added, are expected to attend the captivating festival which will start on Thursday and end on Sunday.

Mr Alwy said local tourists from Nairobi, Rift Valley, Eastern and Coast regions are among those who will attend this year’s cultural festival.

He attributed the large number of visitors from the country attending the festival to Kenya Tourism Board’s Tembea Kenya campaign.

He added that international tourists from United Kingdom, USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and other parts of the world are expected in Lamu from today.

Lamu Sunrise

This year’s festival, he added, has attracted a 25-member dance troupe from India and several entertainment groups from Nairobi.

“The festival will be the best ever as our guests will be transported from Manda Airport to Lamu island by a luxury yacht from Italy and two homemade luxury dhows,” he said.

The Cultural committee has lined up activities such as the popular donkey race, dhow races, swimming gala, traditional music and dance troupes.

Other activities include taarab music, Swahili poetry, exhibitions of art and culture, henna painting and playing bao.

Lamu County’s Tourism Director, Ali Mohamed, said thousands of culture enthusiasts are expected to attend the festival following marketing campaigns locally and internationally.

He explained that the County last month participated in the Magical Kenya Travel Expo where it attracted visitors from the country, Europe and the US.

“The festival is one of the activities we are organizing as part of efforts to revive the tourism industry on the archipelago,” he said.

Mr Mohamed said local airlines such as low-cost carrier Jambojet, Air Kenya and Safarilink are expected to record high passenger numbers destined for Lamu from Nairobi.

Other visitors are expected to travel by road from Mombasa, Kilifi, Malindi and Tana River for the festival.

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