The UK looks to restore faith in Kenya as a holiday destination
British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner recent took a highly publicized family holiday in Kenya's Maasai Mara. Kenya's tourism industry has been negatively impacted by fears of terrorist attacks and Dr. Turner's visit comes as the UK government looks to assure Britons that, while there are travel advisories for areas like Mombasa, key attractions like Maasai Mara are safe to visit.
In an effort to encourage more Britons to visit Kenya's Maasai Mara, British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner recently took his family on holidays in Kenya spending the weekend at the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve.
The visit seeks to overturn the current trend of Britons taking a more cautious approach to Kenya as a potential holiday destination following travel advisories issued by the UK government.
Dr. Turner took the opportunity to assuage any fears, highlighting the fact that the UK's travel advisories were not a blanket ban but instead were in relation to specific locations in Kenya where there have been terrorist attacks such as Mombasa, northern Kenya and parts of the South Coast.
Addressing the media at the Mara Serena Hotel on Thursday prior to his safari experience, Dr. Turner clarified the UK's stance on Maasai Mara as a holiday destination stating:
"Mara is a jewel on the ground and is the home of over 40 per cent of the world's largest mammals. There have been claims that my country issued travel bans to Kenya but that is not true.
"There is no blanket ban on Kenya. Maasai Mara is safe and to encourage UK citizens to visit, I am spending my weekend here and I will be joined by my family".
Ongoing attacks from terrorist organization Al-Shabaab and subsequent travel advisories from key source markets like the UK have resulted in a 31 per cent decline in the number of holidaymakers arriving in Kenya in the first quarter of 2015 when compared to the same period last year. As a result of the decline in arrivals, reportedly as many as 50 hotels in Kenya have been closed and over 40 000 workers in Kenya's hotel and hospitality industry are now out of a job.
Dr. Turner's recent visit to the Maasai Mara marks the first step in the UK government's pledge to help boost Kenya's flailing tourism industry. Kenyan officials have also put measures in place to increase international awareness of Kenya's tourism product and restore faith in the East African nation as leading holiday destination.
Key initiatives recently announced by the Kenyan government include a six months promotion campaign in Italy during the 2015 EXPO Milano and an exclusive multi platform brand campaign with CNN -announced at the end of May 2015.
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