What you need to know:
- He said county governments have a pivotal role in ensuring that the country fully harnesses the full potential of the events to support local businesses and showcase their tourism potential.
- The global media coverage from the events helps to highlight the host regions.
Kilifi County Governor Gideon Mung'aro has said the government should continue to sponsor and partner with organisers of international sports events to position Kenya as a sports destination.
He said county governments have a pivotal role in ensuring that the country fully harnesses the full potential of the events to support local businesses and showcase their tourism potential. The global media coverage from the events helps to highlight the host regions.
Mung'aro was speaking during the Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO) at the Baobab Course Vipingo Ridge Kilifi County.
“Kilifi County is thrilled to host the Magical Kenya Ladies open which is an important event that puts a spotlight on us. The county government of Kilifi will continue to collaborate with the national government and the event organisers to ensure that this event continues to be successful," said Mung'aro.
"The government of Kenya has to continue sponsoring this event which has a positive impact on our local economy, next year, we hope to do even more in terms of support for this event."
“I ask Kenyans and visitors from across the region to come to Kilifi and watch the finals of this magnificent event. Kilifi is the only county where a visitor is able to have breakfast at the beach, lunch on Safari and dinner at the beach in close proximity. We also have many other attractions for our visitors including water sports and wellness experiences," added Mung'aro.
The Magical Kenya Ladies Open, Magical Kenya Open - which will take place from February 22 to 25- World Rally Championship Safari Rally taking place from March 28 to 31, and the Continental Tour, Kip-Keino Classic, taking place from April 20, 2024, are some of the international events slated for this year in the country.
Sports Principal Secretary Peter Tum said the Ministry of Sports will continue to invest in the events due to their value in building capacity of Kenyan sportsmen and women, as well as positively profiling the country globally.
“The Magical Kenya Ladies Open is watched in over 100 countries globally by millions of viewers. The people of Kilifi are also benefiting economically through selling of their merchandise and artifacts which creates opportunities for them. Importantly, the Kenyan lady golfers participating are competing with professionals from across the world which helps in progressing them in the sport. We want our home-grown golfers to be able to compete in other international events, our goal is to monetize the talent we have in Kenya,” said Tum.
The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) acting chief executive, John Chirchir added: “As part of our tourism marketing strategy, we are keen to showcase Kenya’s potential for sports tourism market."
Golf tourism is a thriving industry, estimated to be worth over USD 2 billion, according to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).