Nyeri goes online to attract tourists to heritage sites, Kenya

The Nyeri county government is going online to shore up tourism numbers and advertise heritage sites in the county.

Already, the county, with help from the National Museums of Kenya, has completed mapping tourism and heritage sites and released a documentary video and book. 

The film will be uploaded to YouTube with a link to county’s www.nyeri.go.ke website. Search engine optimisation will be used to target key customer groups. 

Key tourist attractions include the Aberdare ranges, the Mt Kenya ecosystem and the Italian War Memorial Church, which houses the remains of more than 600 prisoners of war. 

The founder of the scout movement Lord Baden Powell lived and is buried in Nyeri.

Tourism executive Diana Kendi said the new marketing strategy will have a wider reach. “This has proven to be effective not only for counties but also for nations around the world,” Kendi told the Star on Monday.

The books will be sold and distributed to all Kenyan embassies around the world to help position Nyeri as a preferred tourist destination. The heritage and tourism diversity documentation and film were launched during the fourth Nyeri Tourism and Cultural Festival held from Thursday to Saturday last week.

Kendi said the annual memorial for the Italians has become an important event in the county’s calendar as relatives of the fallen soldiers and the Italian Ambassador to Kenya attend.

“They come to commemorate their fallen soldiers. Outside the church, you will see the natives who fought alongside the Italians in the War. There are muslims who fought alongside the Italians,” Kendi said.

She said the county is focusing on cultural tourism which is becoming increasingly popular.

“World life is everywhere. If you go to South Africa or Botswana among other countries, there are animals. But one of the things that makes Kenya and Nyeri a unique tourism destination is the culture,” she said.

While officially opening the Cultural Festival on Thursday last week, Nyeri deputy governor Caroline Karugu said this will act as a blueprint for investors to explore various tourism investment opportunities in the county.

“Nyeri government has an ongoing project of developing a culture centre in Nyeri town in an effort to nurture our youth talents and grow the creative industry in line with global trends,” Karugu said.

She said the county has also developed Dedan Kimathi Kahiga-ini site and plans are underway to construct monuments for Dedan Kimathi and Wangari Maathai.

Source: The Star