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Hoteliers fear losing tourists to delays at Likoni crossing channel

27 October 2015, 10:02 John Kioko

Kwale - Leopard Beach Resort and Spa general manager, Mohammed Omar has said that accessibility to Diani is still a major challenge to tourists visiting Kwale county through the ferry crossing channel.

Speaking in Diani on Sunday, Omar said most guests are normally frustrated when using the ferry due to the delays.

"Two days ago, we had a very big problem at the ferry where guests were forced to stay for three good hours queuing which made them to miss their flights and even subjected them to additional expenses of booking another flight and a hotel in Mombasa to spend the night," Omar said.

He noted that the guests were very stressed and frustrated and that the delays might prevent them visiting Diani in future.

"Am afraid that we will start losing tourists in our Diani hotels despite the area having the best beaches therefore the Ferry issues must be well handled because am sure those guests who missed their flight due to the delays will not want to cross to Diani next time they come to Kenya," he continued.

Read Also: Kenya allocates 100 mln USD to promote tourism sector

Omar added that hoteliers have already raised several concerns with the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) but the management insists that the tours companies should buy special passes for their visitors.

"Special passes are very expensive and since the industry has been facing challenges for the last two years. Most tours companies are now working on recovery and therefore cannot afford the passes but let the management consider any tours and safari van or bus carrying  tourists," he said.

He also added that conversion of the Ukunda airstrip to an airport will be a major milestone since it will make it easier for tourists to visit the area.

"If the conversion can be done speedily, this will reduce the congestion at the ferry since flights will be landing and taking off at Ukunda and the national government should also consider working on the Dongo Kundu by-pass for our guests who will be driving from Tsavo national parks to Diani. Am sure this will avoid all other inconviniences," Omar said.

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