Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Kenya Coastal Region Declines in Term of Tourism Performance

There is recognized decline in the number of tourists’ arrivals in Kenya’s coast areas where by the numbers have reduced by about 22% in the first eight months of 2012 when compared to the same months of 2011 and this attributed to the Islamist violence that has been going on in the area as well as the and the cost of landing rights in the traditional tourist hot spot, that is according to the tour operators.

Tourism is among the major sources of Kenya’s foreign currency together with tea and horticulture, the industry generated Sh98 billion shillings last year while the target is Sh100 billion in a year and this was a great increase target from Sh74 billion which was collected in 2010. Officials mentioned last Friday that the number of tourists coming in through Mombasa which is the gateway to the Indian Ocean coast, tremendously declined to 121,472 from the month of January to August 2012 as compared to 156,521 who came in 2011 in between the same months.   This is as a result of the cancellation of major charter flights to Mombasa that different people could rely on and as if that was not enough, this year has seen more than five big charters cancel their direct flights from the different market centers to Mombasa so said Sam Ikwaye who is the chairman of the umbrella Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers.

He also added that the British-operated Monarch Airlines, Air Berlin, France’s Corsair and Tui UK were among those so many airlines that have cancelled their flights in addition to SN Brussels from Belgium and 1 Time airline from South Africa which have also cancelled and this is greatly affected the industry by causing a reduction in the number of arrivals in Kenya.  Ikwaye said majority of these charters were flying in on an every day basis while others came in twice week with huge numbers of tourists and now that they have cancelled, it means all people who were using the charters have been diverted to other places thus a huge impact on the industry. More to that problem, Britain, the United States and Australia had to issue Kenya-related travel advisories to their citizens and this happened after a British tourist was killed near the coastal resort of Lamu thus reducing on the number of tourists visiting Kenya’s tourism destinations.

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