Sports tourism plays a key role in Kenya’s economy and could be an income earner for counties.
Nakuru County CEC for Trade, Industry, Marketing and Tourism Peter Ketyenya said it is on this realization that the County is keen on developing Sports Tourism.
He announced that Nakuru County will host a world mountain marathon, to be held at Mt Longonot in August.
“This marathon will be the first of its kind in Africa,” he said.
The CEC said the county would tap into participants and spectators who tour the county for sporting events.
He spoke during the ceremonial tee off of the Barclays Kenya Open Golf Tournament, Nakuru Circuit at the Lake Nakuru National Park.
The sports tourism sector is the fastest growing going by the latest data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Globally, sports tourism generates around Sh61 trillion a year, according to the World Travel Market.
Dr Ketyenya said promoting sports tourism was a key agenda for the county in seeking revenue for development projects.
“Sports has continuously put Kenya on the world map, a key component in tourism marketing,” said Dr Kentyenya.
Head of Compliance and Legal at Barclays Bank Kenya Mr Laban Omangi said the tournament across various counties will be used as a tool of cohesion after the volatile electioneering period.
While teeing off at the iconic Baboon Cliff at the Lake Nakuru National Park, Mr Omangi said the tournament will also be used to market various tourism destinations in the country.
He said Barclays has committed a total of Sh82 million this year that will go towards a six tournament series which will feature amateur players and junior golfers.
Karen Golf Club hosted the Nairobi Open on February 2, Nakuru Open will be held this Saturday at the Nakuru Golf Club followed by the Kisumu Golf Open at the Nyanza Golf Club on February 24.