A section of tourism stakeholders in the Western Kenya circuit have challenged the national government to fast track upgrading of the Kisumu airport so as to unlock the region's tourism potential.
The Lake Victoria Tourism Association (LVTA) called on the Kenya Airports Authority to speed up upgrading of the airport so that international flights can land at the facility.
They said the airport is a closer link to some of the most strategic tourist attractions such as the Maasai Mara Game Reserve which is popular with wildlife Safari.
LVTA treasurer Rashid Hussein said the facility's potential had not been fully harnessed despite having been awarded an international status.
"KAA must open the airport to have inflight tourists land directly in Kisumu because this circuit is home to most of the country's attractions," he said.
He added: "Kisumu is closer, for instance, to Maasai Mara than Nairobi. In fact, it is closer to more products than Nairobi and Mombasa"
The Western Circuit is also home to several other animal parks and Kakamega Forest in Kakamega.
Mr Rashid further challenged the Kenya Tourism Board to up their marketing of tourism products in the western Kenya circuit.
His sentiments were shared by Kisumu airport manager Joseph Okumu who said only 30 per cent of arrivals recorded at the facility were tourists.