More than 500 tourists attend inaugural Uganda Festival in Diani » Capital News

MOMBASA, Kenya, Apr 18 – More than 500 local and international tourists graced the inaugural Uganda cultural and culinary festival held at the Diani Reef Beach Hotel in Kwale.

Uganda is holding the festival across four counties along the Kenyan coast, aiming to attract both Kenyan and international visitors to their nation.

The events will be Diani Reef in Kwale, Ocean Beach in Malindi, Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi, and Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

On Saturday, a golf tournament will also be held at Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi County, as part of the festival.

Speaking during the Diani Reef event on Wednesday evening, Uganda’s Consul General in Mombasa Ambassador Paul Mukumbya used the platform to showcase Uganda’s diverse offerings to tourists.

Last year alone, Kenya welcomed approximately 200,000 Ugandan tourists, while around 500,000 Kenyans ventured into Uganda for leisure and business pursuits.

With a strategic focus on engaging Kenya’s corporate community, Mukumbya said the Uganda festival’s role in encouraging more Kenyan tourists to explore Uganda’s offerings.

“Kenya is the number one source market for visitors to Uganda. Last year, the figures that were recently released by our Ministry of Tourism indicated that almost 500,000 Kenyans visited Uganda,” he said.

He pointed out the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of travel between the two countries, noting the ease and affordability of travel.

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He cited the minimal requirements—solely a national identity card—for Kenyans crossing into Uganda.

“Whereas to go anywhere else, you need a visa and maybe an air ticket, for a Kenyan to go to Uganda, you don’t need any of those. You don’t need a visa. You don’t even need a passport. All you need is your national identity card,” he said.

Emphasizing the importance of regional collaboration in bolstering tourism, Mukumbya advocated for concerted efforts to tap into neighbouring markets.

The festival’s Kwale edition delighted guests with a captivating array of cultural performances, including traditional dances by the Ndere Troupe and comedic entertainment by Anne Kansiime.

Attendees savoured the flavours of Uganda through a sampling of its authentic cuisines, further enhancing the cultural exchange experience.

Kwale’s Deputy Governor, Chirema Kombo, reaffirmed the county’s commitment to fostering tourism collaboration with Uganda.

He extended invitations for investment across various sectors, recognizing the integral role of culture in driving socio-economic progress.

Notably, Kwale previously hosted its cultural festival, reflecting its dedication to preserving and celebrating local heritage.

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