The 31st edition of the Maralal International Camel Derby concluded on Sunday in Kenya’s northern county of Samburu, with senior officials reaffirming their commitment to promoting cultural tourism growth.
John Chirchir, the chief executive officer of the Kenya Tourism Board, announced that the marketing body would leverage the country’s rich cultural diversity to promote Kenya both domestically and internationally. He said that such cultural events play a crucial role in boosting tourism in the country.
“Culture provides a creative opportunity to showcase our daily life. Through partnerships with travel agencies, hotels and marketing agencies, we have the chance to present Kenya as an attractive destination for both local and international tourists,” said Chirchir.
The three-day event attracted thousands of visitors, including both locals and tourists from foreign nations. Chirchir also highlighted that camel racing, triathlons and the revival of traditional song and dance, which had resumed after pandemic-related interruptions, offer opportunities to market Kenya as an ideal tourist destination.
Maralal boasts rich wildlife and cultural aspects, including Samburu weddings, which are a part of the camel derby activities, the Maralal Game Sanctuary, and the Samburu Night of music, dance and cuisine.
During the event, various indigenous nomadic communities such as Samburu, Turkana and Somali showcased their culture, including beadwork and traditional attire.
Local officials noted that the vast northern Kenyan frontier, home to rare wildlife species such as the reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, the beisa oryx, the gerenuk and the Somali ostrich, has the potential to become the next tourism hub.