Tourism unshaken by terror threats

October 27, 2011
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – The Kenyan tourism industry has not been affected by the recent kidnappings orchestrated by Al Shabaab militia nor threats of reprisals following Kenyan military incursions into Somalia.

The Chairman of the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association, Mohammed Hersi said facilities both in the north and south coast were recording 80 percent occupancy with further arrivals of tourists expected on chartered airlines.

“November and December are looking very strong in terms of bookings, there are no major cancellations coming across. Chartered international flights have gone up from 29 to 32 per week landing in Mombasa. There are no travel bans on the country, they are travel advisories; but apart from advisories, the situation in the country is not that serious,” he told Capital Business.

There have been security concerns following kidnappings of tourists and aid workers in Lamu and Dadaab refugee camps, which prompted some countries to issue travel advisories against Kenya.

Earlier this week, Nairobi was rocked by two grenade explosions within a span of 24 hours, which was followed by the arrest of a man who later confessed to playing a part in one of the blasts.

“The blasts in Nairobi were way off the circuit for tourists. Some of the culprits have been arrested; we need to share some of this good news with the world. The government is working hard to secure the country. We cannot sit back and let the industry die. A lot of repeat guests are convincing first time visitors to come to the country even now,” Hirsi affirmed.

Many hotels have taken to the social media to attract more visitors.

He said operators were using sites such as Tripadvisor.com to help bring more tourists to the country with hotels lowering their rates to try and keep them at full bed capacity.

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