Proudly flaunted as Africa’s Best Beach after beating other acclaimed shorelines such as Cape Town, Bazaruto and Zanzibar, Diani rolls gracefully to the South of the Indian Ocean; showing off her beauty way beyond the horizons. Diani also spots a number of world class resorts which caters for travelers from every corner of the globe; from wanderers in pursuit of luxury to treasure hunters looking for one more new cave or wave for their travelogues!
According to Mohamed Omar, the General Manager at the award winning Leopard Beach Resort and Spa, retaining this top position calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders especially in ensuring that security is maintained both on national and community level. This, includes training and educating the locals on the importance of tourism, and maintaining healthy balance between socio- economic and environmental issues. He expansively cites extending hospitality to visitors and observing cleanliness as vital factors if Diani is to reserve her revered status on the continent’s top beaches. Having worked with recognized brands including Sarova, InterContinental and Kenya Safari Lodges & Hotels, the GM confidently vouches for collaborated efforts as a sure way of attaining such goals.
According to United Nations Education Programme (UNEP), high population on the coastline and mainland due to better employment opportunities result to rapid urbanization which can spiral to hazardous levels if not controlled. Among the list of threats associated with such rampant human activity include habitat degradation, domestic sewerage and solid waste management as well as industrial waste pollution. All put together, the list of issues inevitably lead to environmental stress that interfere with the coastal ecosystem therefore curtailing and putting to risk some habitants.
In light of this, the organization has set aside events and campaigns f or public outreach and awareness on the importance of generating positive impact on the planet. Statistics from UNEP report dire need for change of behavior and controlled human activity citing that if the current pattern of consumption and production does not change, we will need three planets to sustain our ways by 2050! The population is expected to rise from the current 7 billion to 9.6 billion in the next 35 years.
Omar calls for participation of all stakeholders and equal sharing of benefits amongst the local community, investors, national and county governments in sustaining different ecosystems and tourist attractions.
(Photo: Leopard Beach, Diani)
The author Lilian Gaitho is Head of Public Relations, Jovago-Kenya