Najib Balala says state will transform Bomas of Kenya into world-class facility

Najib Balala

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala cuts a cake to mark the 50th anniversary of Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 27, 2021.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

The government will transform Bomas of Kenya into a world-class facility to boost tourism and hospitality sectors, Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has announced.

The Tourism CS said the ongoing infrastructural upgrade at Bomas of Kenya was aimed at modernising the conferencing and exhibition facilities to give tourism and hospitality sectors the much needed shot in the arm to put the country back on economic recovery slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “The government has an ambitious plan to transform Bomas of Kenya into a modern meeting, incentives, conferencing and exhibition centre in efforts to inject new life into the hospitality and tourism sectors that have been disrupted by the pandemic," said Mr Balala.

He added: "My ministry has initiated talks with the National Treasury to find ways of supporting Bomas of Kenya to become a modern conferencing centre to boost cultural and business tourism."

More attractive

The Tourism CS challenged the board and management of Bomas of Kenya to devise new and innovative ideas of integrating cultural tourism and business tourism in a bid to appeal to a wider market.

"Let us strive to make Bomas of Kenya a transformative place for the whole country and not just capital city Nairobi. I urge you to woo young people by making our culture more attractive," said the CS.

He reminded young people of the importance of appreciating our culture even as they embrace modernity.

Bomas of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Peter Gitaa underscored the importance of investing in cultural tourism saying, "Our culture is a unique selling point in modern global tourism circuit."

"As we modernise Bomas of Kenya we need to come up with an innovative approach to cultural preservation and use of digital technology that will attract more local and international tourists," offered Mr Gitaa.

International tourists

He lauded the Ministry of Tourism for supporting Bomas of Kenya and urged the parent ministry to sustain the support as the facility attracts over 5,000 international tourists annually.

"With a growing interest in cultural heritage globally, growth in cultural tourism could be a critical key tool of creating economic development," said Mr Gitaa.

"We're now repositioning ourselves to take off after 50 years of existence by injecting new impetus in the hospitality and tourism sectors," added Mr Gitaa.

On Wednesday, Bomas of Kenya celebrated its 50th anniversary that culminated in the launch of the ultra-modern cultural and conference facility dubbed Baraza Hall which has a seating capacity of 950 delegates.

 With the improved infrastructure, Bomas of Kenya has a sitting capacity of about 5,500 people making it one of the largest and modern international convention and exhibition centres in the region.

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