Preparations for the 18th edition of the Lamu Cultural Festival in Kenya are in top gear, with hoteliers and traders in the county preparing to host at least 50,000 visitors.
This year’s festival will be marked from November 22 to 25, and is expected to cost KES13 million (approximately RWF100m), according to organisers.
The festival provides an avenue to explore and sell the cultural tourism in Lamu as well as the Coast region.
A spot check by the nation showed that hoteliers, shop and restaurant owners have been refurbishing their premises ahead of the festival.
Traders are also looking forward to make a killing from the thousands of guests expected to flock the historical Lamu Old Town.
Residents are also hoping to cash in on the event and they have furnished some of their rooms to accommodate visitors with reasonable prices.
Abdulrahman Shali, a trader who owns several homes within Lamu town, said he has decided to rent out some of his apartments to visitors.
“My apartments are rental, but since I am not using them and there are many people coming to the cultural event this year, I will be renting out the premises,” said Shali.
Lamu Old Town boasts of a rich reservoir of culture that depicts the lives of Africans, Arabs and Indians who occupied the region in past decades, and also showcases the types of trade they engaged in.
The festival was founded in 2000 by the then Tourism Minister Najib Balala to celebrate, remember and reinforce the culture and heritage of the Swahili people in Lamu.
The annual event is held in November. This year’s theme is ‘Tembea Lamu’ (Visit Lamu).