Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Kenyan Tourism Sector Facing Challenges

The Kenyan tourism industry is currently facing a huge challenge resulting from the insecurity incidents that have been happening in Kenya over the last few months more so at the Kenyan coast of Mombasa which is the hub for almost all the tourism activities. Not so long ago, there were about 3 days of constant fighting between the police and Muslim youths who were protesting against what they called cold-blooded killing of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo. These fights have caused some of Kenya’s big markets to issue travel advisories to their nationals warning them about the danger they might be getting into if they traveled to Kenya thus affecting the tourism industry.

Some of these countries include Australia, Britain and France but more embassies will probably follow them soon or later especially if the situation goes worse than it already is. Already the Kenya Association of Hotel keepers & Caterers (KAHC) has warned of tough times for the tourism sector just reeling under the effect of terrorism activities spearheaded by the ragtag Alshabaab militia from Somalia. It is feared that the arrivals will dwindle further, a situation that will seriously impact on the Kenyan economy which is heavily dependent on the billion dollar sector.

President of Kenya Mwai Kibaki toured the region last week to plead for self-control although the number of death increased to five, reinforced by grenade wielding youths especially from Mombasa’s informal settlements. Aboud Rogo was a controversial Muslim cleric with so many pending terrorism court cases and was also a suspect for the 1998 Kikambala resort bombing. He was shot dead at close range an incident that sparked off a violent protest from Muslims in the Coastal town. Unfortunately, the violence seems to have shifted from Rogo’s killing in to what now appears to be religious war, Muslims up against the Christians in the region because they have destroyed a number of churches and also looted so many shops in areas of Majengo and Kisauni .

Mike Macharia who is also the chairperson of the hoteliers association said that the Kenyan government must react to this matter effectively and a assure Kenyans as well as people from outside Kenya that their holiday destination is safe for visit especially the coastal region. Macharia acknowledge the fact that Kenya is in very bad situation and that what has happened in Kenya has affected their tourism industry greatly as well as driving investors away to other places.

President Mwai Kibaki together with Prime Minister Raila Odinga will make sure that there are measures put in place to ensure peace and stability at the Coast and other Kenyan regions at all times.

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