East African Affairs Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said she is confident that the two events will go on as planned despite Saturday’s terrorist attack which has claimed the lives of 62 people and left 175 others injured at Westgate mall.
Kandie said following the strong security apparatus in control, the two conferences which include the Africa Hotel and Investment Forum and The Eco Tourism and Sustainable Tourism will be successful.
She has urged foreign embassies to continue being understanding and not issue travel advisories to their citizens and consider this as an isolated incident which has been brought under control.
“There have been no travel advisories and we are very grateful. In the past they have impacted on us negatively as a country. As you know, tourism is a very important sector,” Kandie told journalists at a press conference in her office on Monday.
She assured all the tourists especially those in the country to go on with the usual activities since all the other parts of the country are peaceful.
“Terrorism is something that you don’t plan for and it can happen anywhere and we will overcome,” she said with enthusiasm, “one thing that we would want to go out there is that, the incident is at Westgate and the rest of the country is peaceful and everything going as usual.”
The Kenya Tourist Development Corporation and Bench Events, who are organizers of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum taking place in Nairobi 23-25 September, said the event will go ahead as planned, despite the unfortunate incident.
“The goal of terrorists is to spread fear and disrupt lives and we know that. But we will be proceeding with AHIF as planned, “Bench Events Chairman Jonathan Worsley said on Monday.
“I am planning to fly to Nairobi on Monday to attend the Africa Hotel Investment Forum. It is important that the travel industry supports Kenya at this difficult time,” World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC) CEO David Scowsill said.
According to WTTC, Travel & Tourism is one of Kenya’s largest industries, responsible for 12.5percent of the economy which is over Sh450 billion.