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Politicians scaring away tourists

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The Tourism Ministry has reiterated its concern over the political bickering that has been witnessed in the country saying it could scare away tourists from the country.

Tourism Minister Najib Balala said the squabbling may destabilise the industry which is recovering from the 2008 post-election violence.

"The issue who goes to the ICC, who doesn\’t go to ICC – does not bother tourism. The squabbling and the misbehaviour of politicians in terms of rhetoric and the abuses they use is where the problem lies. It creates tension and that tension makes people fear coming into the country," Mr Balala said.

The Minister spoke during the opening of the holiday\’s tourism fair, which is expected to help create awareness on tourism products and provide tourism information suitable to Kenyans.

While the expo is expected to grow the domestic tourism revenue, the Minister said there\’s also need to market the different tourism circuits in the country to complement such initiatives.

"What do we do to market Kenya to the rest of Africa. I think we need to come up with a clear strategy to market Kenya, in Kenya, to Kenyans. I\’m always concerned that tour operators are always aiming for the top category (upper class) which is small. They may be paying, but also there is a big market in the middle and lower classes which is vast and everyone should be able to benefit," he said.

The exhibition is running from March 24 until March 27 and is showcasing the best in travel destinations around East Africa as well as the best locations in around the country.

It is open for tour operators as well to advertise tour packages.

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