Tourism is one of the important sectors of our Kenyan economy that brings in foreign exchange. The Diaspora University Town (DUT) project by Diaspora Kenyans, Ndara B Community, and Partners has a plan to grow the Kenyan economy through tourism. Dan Kamau the Executive Trustee/Project Director says that the town is planned to have good hotels for tourists. He adds, “Millions of tourists will come and tour the Tsavo East and West National Parks.
The Tsavo National Park is the oldest and largest park in Kenya. The parks occupy an area of 13,747 square kilometers. This semi-arid area is previously known as the Taru Desert. The parks were open in April 1948. Voi town is the biggest town next to the park. Dan tells us that Voi has about 400 hotel beds and says, “This cannot support the one million tourists per year DUT plan. This is why we shall have hotels built in DUT town.”
DUT sign along the Voi – Taveta roads reads that DUT is a jobs creation project. Dan informs us that the main goal of the project is to create jobs, especially for the youth.
He says, “Not only will DUT provide hotels for tourists but the project will also create the opportunity for persons to start small tour guide businesses through owning of vans they shall drive.” Talking about the plan that will create the jobs, Dan says that the plan goal is to grow to 1 million tourists a year. With consideration of the good weather all year round he says the plan is to have about 2000 – 5000 tourists a day.
He also informs our team of the other plans that are part of the tourism plan. He says, “ The tourism plan includes a special safety standby unit, customized cars with GPS and cameras; the Diaspora University hospital and other plans for all emergencies.
To be able to cover the large national park one of the plans to be implemented is the air balloon tours. The plan will be implemented through the Diaspora University aviation department. Dan says this plan will benefit those who are old and do not want car tours.
One of the best things about hot-air ballooning is that it can also benefit one’s health. . Not only will one feel happier during the ride, but even long after the flight is over. Air balloon rides have been stated to be associated with the release of endorphins that improve blood flow.
In terms of cost, Dan explains that a good plan has to be competitive in the global tourism market. He says, “A tour in Tsavo will be cheaper than Maasai Mara.”.
The DUT tourism plan is estimated to create about 5000 jobs in the tour guides, hospitality, entertainment, retail sales, and other economic sectors.
A group of young Boda Boda riders who transport persons in Voi town debating on this opportunity remarked. This will create jobs for us as we advance our business to own cars and take persons inside Tsavo. This will grow Taita Taveta County and Kenya as we increase the number of tourists.