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SA numbers to Kenya drop
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Tourism numbers to Kenya from South Africa have declined by 11%, for the period 2012 to 2013. 

Muriithi Ndegwa, md of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), told TNW at Indaba this week, that the country had seen a “small drop from South Africa, from 40 000 to 36 000 travellers.” He says the drop in tourist numbers is a result of 1time’s direct flight from Johannesburg to Mombasa ceasing operations. 

Muriithi admits that the recent terrorist attacks in the coastal regions have also led to apprehension among travellers. He stresses, however, that terrorist attacks are not unique to Kenya. “The unfortunate incidences, reported mostly in Nairobi and Mombasa areas, are terrorism-related activities – global threats that the world is grappling with – and Kenya is not an exception.”

Muriithi says the country has been proactive in its attempts to boost security. He says the Kenya Tourism Federation Safety and Communication Center was established, which is operational 24/7, and provides assistance to tourists and tourism stakeholders in cases of emergency. He adds that Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, also recently launched the Rapid Results Initiative, which focuses on addressing security challenges that continue to confront the country with a view to implementing strategies to counter them. 

Meanwhile, operators in the private sector have taken it upon themselves to address security issues. Hotels in Mombasa have hired private security guards to ensure the safety of clients. Mohammed Hersi, head of the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association, was quoted in Anadolu Agency as saying: “We have had to hire more security guards in hotels to ensure that tourists are safe. We’re used to seeing kneejerk reactions by [government] security agents immediately after terror attacks. That’s why we’re resolving to hire private security.”
By : etnw
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