By WINSLEY MASESE
Kenya: Tourist arrivals are expected to improve as the country readies to commemorate 100 years since World War 1 started, with Taita Taveta County expected to be the key destination.
County Governor John Mruttu said the battlefields, which are now considered as battlefield tourism, have been preserved.
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“We want those who intend to come to the county to have a feel of war history and what the best nature can offer,” he said.
Speaking in Nairobi, Mruttu termed the development as the new way, which can be used to increase tourist arrivals into the region.
Showcasing the area
“Tourism plays a significant role in the economy of the region and this is the opportunity to showcase the area,” he said. The main event takes place on August 15, at Salaita, a corruption of slaughter.
Taita Taveta is home to some of the most important battlefields of the war in East Africa. In the County, the Germans occupied Taveta and built fortified outposts with an intention of blocking the British from using the Voi-Taveta Railway.
Among the German outposts, was the Salaita Hill where a big battled was fought on February 12, 1916 after which the Germans retreated towards the Kenya -Tanzania boarder.
Some of those expected to visit the area, according to Mruttu, are war students. The governor, however, ruled out possibilities of auctioning some of the artifacts used during the battle.
“We will not sell any of the items used during the war but would like to recognise those who participated as well as preserve the area,” he said.
The objects and memorabilia collected from Taita area will be exhibited during the event.
Domestic Tourism Federation Chairperson, Anastacia Wakesho, said that the event would play a credible role in promoting domestic tourism.