By VITALIS KIMUTAI
The Presidential hopeful said it was sad that after 50 years of independence, the country has not fully exploited its tourism potential despite its advantage over competing nations.
“URP will conduct serious marketing abroad to make Kenya an ideal tourist destination. We have the ability to increase the number of foreign visitors from the current 1.5 million to over 10 million every year,” Ruto said.
“We have a jewel as the only place on earth where the oldest human fossils were discovered. Kenya is actually the home to every man as this is where humanity began,” Ruto said.
He said the yearly historic epic migration of millions of wildebeest in the Mara, the fact that we host the biggest five wild animals – lion, elephants, buffalos, rhinos, and leopards – and that we have mountains, oceans and the Great Rift Valley makes Kenya an ideal tourist destination.
“As compared to Kenya, London receives 30 million visitors, Malaysia, a country of 25 million people host 23 million, with Paris attracting 72 million tourists,” Ruto said.
“We have to be firm and decisiveto make our heroes proud if we took our country forward,” he stated.
Ruto was speaking in Nairobi on Monday during the launch of a book on the legendary Nandi leader titled, Unyielding Hope: The Life and Times o f Koitaleel Saomei written by Kipchoge arap Chomu and Giles Humphry.
“The history and contribution by many heroes of national development has not been documented. It is good that we get to know the roots of our country,” Ruto said.
Ruto added,”I share a name with Koitaleel Samoei, who was born 100 years before me. He paid an ultimate prize for his contribution in the liberation struggle. I am lucky I have not paid the ultimate prize, but a small one,” Ruto said.
He stated that Koitaleel was a Kenyan hero who suffered in the hands of an imperial to emancipate the people he led and in so doing, he had in mind a united nation everyone could be proud of.