FCO lifts travel advisory for Mombasa and the Kenya's Indian Ocean coast
Kenyan officials are said to be delighted at the news that the UK's FCO had relaxed its travel warnings for Kenya. The FCO has now lifted the travel advisory previously in place for Mombasa and Kenya's Indian Ocean Coast. The Kenya Tourism Foundation has said that the travel update will be a major step towards the recovery of Kenya's tourism industry.
Britons can now once again book their Kenya safari and beach holidays with confidence following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) decision to lift its travel advisory for Mombasa and the stretch of the Kenyan coast from Watamu to the Tanzanian border.
The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is said to be "delighted" with the decision and a spokesperson for the board stated:
"The South coast has always remained open to the UK travelers but lifting this travel ban to the north means that UK tourists can now enjoy the larger coastal area including one of the top beaches Watamu."
The UK has, in recent months, been making a concerted effort to help revive Kenya's flailing tourism industry. Last month, the British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner took his family on a safari holiday in Kenya's Masai Mara National Game Reserve in an effort to boost confidence in the Kenya as a safe holiday destination for Britons.
The initial travel advisory placed on Kenya, as a result of terrorist attacks, has had a major impact on the country's tourism industry, which relies heavily on arrivals from the UK.
The number of travellers booking Kenya has dropped by over 60 percent from 2011 and the latest statistics indicate that the number of travellers visiting Kenya in the first five months of 2015 was down by 25 percent when compared to the same period in 2014. Arrivals from Britain and the US were down by 35 and 22 percent respectively.
On the back of news of the Britain's relaxed travel update, the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) has said that it now expects Kenya's tourism industry to recover by 2016. KTF CEO Agatha Juma stated:
"The amendment of the FCO advisory comes as a most welcome relief for Coastal tourism and is viewed as a direct reflection of the gains made to improve the safety and security in that region."
Ms Juma warned that the stakeholders at the Mombasa and the Indian Ocean coast should not rest on their laurels and would need to continue to be vigilant in maintaining the security improvements made to the region.
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