News 2008


Europeans ease Kenya warnings


Monday, March 03, 2008

THE easing of travel advisories to Kenya by the U.S., U.K. and key European should be reflected by Australia during the next week, according to chairman Charles Bench at Australia’s leading African safari operator Bench International.

In a joint statement with a Kenya Tourism Federation representative currently in Sydney, Mr Bench said that these changes had re-charged consumer interest in traveling to Kenya and its east African neighbour Tanzania.

The Coast Province representative of the Federation, Mr Mike Kirkland said that the European moves were confirmation that tourists to Kenya were isolated from the political conflicts of the past month.

Germany, Italy, Austria, Finland, France, Switzerland and Spain have all recently eased travel advisories relating to Kenya.

Whilst in Australia Mr Kirkland will be holding discussions with local industry bodies with a view to having them approach DFAT for a softening of its stance on travel to Kenya.

Mr. Kirkland, a 37-year veteran of the Kenyan tourism industry, said that even the people involved in disturbances were aware of Kenya’s reliance on tourism as a huge foreign exchange earner and provider of jobs for local people.

Consequently, they restricted activities to non-tourist areas.

He added, “Tourism accounts for 15 percent of GDP in Kenya and is a bigger foreign earner than tea, coffee or horticulture so the security of visitors is appreciated, even by those involved in disturbances.

“Unrest has been restricted to non-tourist areas and a vigilant and efficient Tourist Police operation ensures visitors are unaffected in beach resort and wildlife reserve areas”, he said.