|FORT JESUS PROMOTED TO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE STATUS|
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 21 Jul 11
At the just concluded meeting in Paris of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Fort Jesus, one of the key historic attractions of the Kenya Coast was upgraded to a UNESCO world heritage site. This is a welcome boost to the tourism appeal of the Kenya Coast.
This recognition puts in the spotlight the rich historic and cultural heritage the Fort Jesus embodies, and will drive more sustained efforts to conserve the site for the benefit of the local people and visitors.
The designation of Fort Jesus a UNESCO world heritage site presents tourism operators an opportunity to leverage on this point of appeal to achieve an increase in the number of tourists to the Coastal attraction. This complements the strategy to rebrand the beach destination to make it more activity intensive as it emphasizes the region's attraction other than the traditional sun and sand- the cultural experience.
This now brings to a total of 6 the number of such sites in the country, after Lamu archipelago; Lk Bogoria; Lk Nakuru; Lk Elementaita, all in the Great Rift Valley, which is also a world heritage site. This timely development is welcome as the country looks to diversify the tourism product by developing niche products such as cultural tourism.