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Tourism MInister Najib Balala/FILE


Kenya is safe, say top US tour firms

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – A group of top travel agents from the United States of America have declared that Kenya is still one of the safest holiday destinations.

The travel agents who were in the country to assess the security situation in the country met Tourism Minister Najib Balala and assured him they were happy with government efforts to restore security at the Kenya boarders .

The Abercrombie and Kent, a leading travel agent in U.S market that the delegation represented travelled to several tourist destinations in the country among them the Maasai Mara and their take was that Kenya was even safer owing to a raft of security measures that the government has put in place to ensure safety for both locals and tourists.

Scott Wiseman, the president of Abercrombie and Kent in the U.S who led the delegation said Kenya’s tourism industry was on the right path to recovery following recent cases of Insecurity that hit some parts of the country.

“Security now is more reassuring and I assure tourists from the American market and the world over to feel safe while visiting or planning to visit Kenya,” Wiseman was accompanied by his vice president- sales Bob Fredman said.

Tourism Minister Najib Balala received the agents in Nairobi with a message that the government was more alert.

“The government of Kenya is not ready to negotiate with criminal gangs and we are doing everything possible to ensure security of all our citizens and foreigners,” Balala said.

Balala said tourism was an important pillar to the country’s economy contributing 10 percent to its GDP, an economy he said, the country would not allow criminal gangs to destroy.

The minister appealed to the African Union, the European Union and the international Community to support Kenya’s efforts to restore regional peace saying that Somalia’s problem had cost Kenya a lot in terms of lives and resources.

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Remarks by the travel agents from America that Kenya is safe have also been echoed by the U.S ambassador to Kenya Scotts Gration during his tour of Lamu with the minister a few weeks ago.

Gration told hoteliers and industry stakeholders in Lamu that the efforts the government had put in place to ensure security in Lamu and other border towns were a clear testimony that security was a priority to the government.

Just like Scott promised to plan his holiday in Lamu so were the travel agents who were also convinced that Kenya has attractive tourist attraction sites that needed to be promoted.

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