As H.E FCPA Governor Fernandes Barasa promotes the industrialization agenda and enhances a vibrant service sector in Kakamega County under the Wealth creation agenda of his Manifesto, residents residing within and outside the County have been urged to invest in Kakamega County’s hospitality industry to position the County as a viable hospitality hub in the Western Kenya region; in support of Governor Barasa’s efforts to create wealth amongst residents.

Speaking during the County Budget Review and Outlook Paper (CBROP) review meeting chaired by the CECM for Finance, Economic Planning and ICT CPA Livingstone Imbayi on Thursday, the Chief Officer for Risk Management and Service Delivery Unit Dr Phitalis Were Masakhwe challenged local leaders and business people to open up Kakamega by putting up investments in the hospitality industry moreso quality modern hotels.

Dr Masakhwe noted that hospitable residents, a conducive business environment created by the County Government and favourable climatic conditions are some of the factors investors should be assured of while setting up their operations. He added that in addition to creating employment opportunities, a revamped hospitality sector will also enhance the County’s Own Source Revenue (OSR) targets, a key priority of Governor Barasa’s administration.

During the meeting it was revealed by the Western Kenya Tourism & Hospitality Association Chairperson Rev William Ouya that Air Bed and Breakfast (Airbnb) is now a booming business within Kakamega Municipality that should be included in the subsequent Finance Act as a revenue stream. Rev Ouya is also the National Chairman of the Tourism and Hospitality Committee at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the current Secretary of the County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF).

The meeting was also attended by CECMs, County Secretary and Head of Public Service Dr Lawrence Omuhaka, Chief Officers and other senior Government officers.