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Kwale County banks on sports tourism to shore up revenue

By - Philip Mwakio | August 4th 2013

By Philip Mwakio

KENYA: Kwale County Executive in-charge of Tourism, Mr Adam Sheikh wants sports tourism fast-tracked to boost arrival numbers into the Kenyan South Coast tourism circuit.

 In an interview with The Standard on Sunday, Sheikh said the region has abundant water and sports facilities yet to be fully utilised.

 Sheikh said his agenda will be to ensure new tourism attractions which have not been exposed will be marketed aggressively. “Kenya is a great sporting nation. Sport has become a trendy part of everyday social life.  Kenyan athletes have become world-renowned Olympic and Commonwealth champions crossing finish line in first, second and third places,’’ he said.

 Sheikh observed that sports have inescapably become part of the tourism industry in Kenya, with athletes visiting from countries in Europe, Asia, the US and other parts of the world to train or conduct charitable activities.

“The Kenyan coast is a paradise for beach sports such as deep-sea fishing and water surfing in the Indian Ocean,’’ he added.  He noted that the Coast has the best hotels and on the beaches, guests can go scuba diving Snorkeling and Whale Shark diving.

 “Diani Beach has a huge potential to become one of the best Whale Shark tourist destination in the world,’’ he said. “It is one of the few place in the world, where one can set out in the morning to swim with Whale Shark the biggest fish in the ocean and then have a 30 minutes drive to track the biggest land animal the elephant in the afternoon.”  Equally popular is the Diani Beach Masters Golf Tournament, held annually at the Leisure Lodge Hotel & Club.  It features a repertoire of local competitors and can be expanded to include international competitors.

 Diani Beach Masters promises exciting actions on the greens if promoted internationally while the Diani Beach Goat Derby, which he said  can be turned into an annual event.

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