Ready For Africities

Ready For Africities

Over 360 hotels in Kisumu and the neighbouring counties have been identified to house thousands of guests expected to attend Africities next week from Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st May. This comes as the Secretariat seeks more input towards accommodation for homestays, serviced apartments and extended accreditation to hotels beyond Kisumu City.

The team lead by DG Dr. Ochieng Owili anticipates an over-spill of guests to neighboring counties in Vihiga, Kakamega, and Siaya. According to Tourism CEC Achie Alai, “The Africities summit secretariat has also vetted individuals operating AirBnBs homestays and serviced apartments in a bid to bridge the bed capacity gap. We’re working with the AirBnB team, the national office and the international office to ensure that we have the right homes that they’ve been vetted and that the delegates staying here are not in any way inconvenienced, and that the standard is uniform across the county.”

A multi-agency task force has been on toes including a security team, the departments of tourism, communication and infrastructure to inspect tourism attraction sites such as Kit Mikai, Thimlich Ohinga among others to ensure they are ready to receive guests.

On security matters, Nyanza Regional Commissioner Magu Mutindika promises maximum protection to delegates. “Yesterday we held a meeting with all the western and regional police command. They were here yesterday, so all those areas that we have mentioned they will be covered and we want to assure our delegates that they will get maximum security. They will be secure during their stay here in Kisumu.”

Preparations have also been boosted by the expansion of the Kisumu International Airport passenger terminal and renovations of VIP lounges by the KAA, to provide an additional boarding gate area, arrivals hall and a landslide vehicular grade parking so as to increase the facility’s passenger handling capacity in readiness for Africities. The organizers have also set aside Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Ground as an entertainment spot for guests who may want to have some fun.

According to the DG, “We have committed to ensure that we have bus spaces every one hour.” The team is also liaising with transport service providers, taxi operators and car leasing companies who will shuttle delegates from respective hotels to Mamboleo ASK Showground and back. “If anybody else still has a prado, buses and normal saloon cars we are still open and we will continue this exercise I think until Friday. So if you have proper cars please come up here,” CEC Achie.

So far, at least a thousand residents have found job opportunities at the venue with the secretariat predicting a business boom in the region in the coming days. “So we are going to be bringing in over the next 10 days to 2 weeks about 14 000 buying customers so you can imagine the kind of money that is going to be left here.”

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