By PHILIP MWAKIO
NAIROBI, KENYA: National Museums of Kenya (NMK) has announced fresh plans to introduce Heritage Walk tours within Nairobi City to promote culture and heritage tourism.
Ahmed Yassin, the newly appointed director general, said Heritage Walk would encompass visits to more than 50-gazetted sites located within the Nairobi and that have rich culture and heritage significance to the history of Kenya.
He said of the 50 historical sites and monuments, 15 are within close proximity of each other along the Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Dr Yassin was addressing a meeting convened by NMK at the Old Law Courts, next to the Fort Jesus Museums in Mombasa.
“Working closely with key stakeholders, we have developed four circuits that will see visitors take up to 90 minutes to visit the old Provincial Commissioner’s building, the Sarova Stanley Hotel and Kipande House, which have rich historical backgrounds,’’ he said.
He added that NMK is keen to engage the Nairobi County government to have owners of these historical sites enjoy some form of tax rebates as an incentive to encourage them to continue preserving the structures for cultural and heritage purposes.
“We now strongly believe that product diversification is the way to go in the wake of dwindling arrivals from overseas tourism markets and instead are looking towards both local, regional and diversification of what we have to attract even more tourists,’’ he said.
Dr Yasin also announced that all museums in Nairobi would now be open to night visitors specifically to tap into overseas conference delegates who are on shorter stays and occupied during the day.
He said NMK is also looking at opening up vaults in their custody that contain important heritage and cultural information to visitors for a fee.