What you need to know:
- However, cultural tourism has emerged as a major product with museums and other cultural sites
Quality is of utmost importance; poorly designed sites will not sell. Let them match the best .
The tourism industry was traditionally founded on the sun and sand and wildlife products. If tourists were not going to the sandy beaches to enjoy sunshine, they were visiting the wild to watch wild animals. These defined the traditional tourism experience. As such, the beach resorts and lodges were popular among leisure tourists.
However, cultural tourism has emerged as a major product with museums and other cultural sites gaining popularity. Tourists love them because of their aunthenticiricy as well as educational component with man-made attractions and historical monuments in the menu.
The Western destinations pioneered in the built environment, or man-made tourist attractions. For example, the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France , is a major tourist puller. Every year, millions of visitors throng the site to savour this most iconic architectural masterpiece . It’s a must-visit attraction for visitors to the French capital .
Italy’s St Peter’s Square is loved by, especially, visitors of the Roman Catholic faith. Thousands of faithful make voyages to the Vatican City to visit the cathedral. The church is now a key tourist attraction with the revenues generated from the visits forming a large portion of the city’s gross domestic product (GDP). It’s not only a place of worship, but a tourist attraction as well.
In Africa, Egypt has an ancient history-cum- civilisation legacy spaning thousands of years. During the Africa Cup of Nations finals held there, the football fans who frequented dozens of museums marvelled at the ingenuity of the architectural designs. To cap it all, the pyramids, the wonder of all architectural works, draw hoards of tourists yearly.
Since the Kenyan government has started building monuments and water fronts, the architectural works should be world-class. Quality is of utmost importance; poorly designed sites will not sell. Let them match the best .
With the rise in urban tourism, this is the way to go.
Benard Amaya, Nairobi
* * *
As this year’s World Elephant Day was celebrated on August 12, for the first time, the number of elephants that were poached had significantly reduced.
Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) said seven elephants had been poached so far this year, down from 34 last year and 80 in 2018 over the same period. That gives hope that the near-extinction of the jumbos has been tamed.
Poaching has been on the decline, thanks to increased adherence to conservation and wildlife law enforcement measures.
Also worth celebrating is the arrest of the most wanted rhino horn and ivory trafficker, Mansur Mohamed Surur, in Mombasa in July.
James Onyango, Siaya