May 17, 2022

Jambojet resume flights to Lamu

Jambo jet

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Jambojet has resumed flights to Lamu.

This follows enhanced security, revamped infrastructure and growing investor confidence in the coastal region.

The low-cost carrier in 2016 ceased operating flights to Lamu due to the delayed completion of expansion works at the Lamu Airport.
“The resumption of Jambojet flights to Lamu signals the revival of tourism in Lamu that had declined because of insecurity caused by Al-Shabaab attacks in the past and impact of the disruption in tourism caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said during the relaunch of the low-cost carrier at Manda Airstrip.

Manda Airport has been upgraded by the national government at Sh190 million.

“Apart from tourists coming to enjoy the allure of island sand beaches and Swahili heritage, there are efforts to set up and gazette the Dodori National Reserve on the Lamu mainland side,” the CS said today.

The renovation works currently stand at 70 per cent with Kenya Airports Authority officials intimating it will be completed by the end of November this year.

“The resumption of Jambojet flights around the coming of the December-March tourism high season is cause for celebration, especially with the impact that Covid-19 has had on the tourism sector,” Balala said.

“Covid has led to low volumes of international and domestic air travels in the country.”

The CS further noted that the national government had taken deliberate steps to improve transport infrastructure across the country despite the debilitating impact that Covid-19 had left on the economy.

“Investors in the tourism sector, are taking note of Lamu as a favourable tourism destination, especially among youthful domestic travellers,” the CS said.

“There is a growing buzz among tourists over Lamu being more than just a world heritage site, but also having huge potential for nature and wildlife tourism.”

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia maintained that improved security in the county has contributed to the revival of tourism despite the challenges presented by Covid-19.

“The national government has invested both in personnel and resources towards safeguarding the tourism industry and Lamu Port project investments against the threat of terrorism and insecurity,” Macharia said, adding that the current tourism regeneration in the county owes its foundation to the security agencies.

Tourist numbers in Lamu have steadily increased despite the effects of Covid-19 to other tourist destinations in the country, with hoteliers reporting as high as 90 per cent bed occupancy this year alone.

“It is not lost on us as the county government, that Lamu gained tourist numbers at the expense of much-preferred destinations like Mombasa and Diani, which have suffered throughout the pandemic,” Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha said.

Twaha further said that the county government plans to invest as much as Sh45 million in training conservancy scouts who will work in the Dodori National Reserve to cement the county’s tourism portfolio.

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