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KTB says ease of Britain travel ban to boost tourism recovery

02 October 2014, 09:37

Nairobi - Kenya's tourism marketers on Wednesday welcomed the relaxing of travel advisory by Britain, saying the move will boost tourism recovery efforts.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said he hoped that the move which comes ahead of a global travel expo slated for London in November will be followed by other western countries.

Ndegwa said Kenya is safe and open for business with the government working tirelessly to address security issues which prompted western countries to issue advisories.

"We look forward to the lifting of restrictions on travel to the Kenyan coast which was hard hit by the advisories," he said.

The British government on Monday relaxed its travel advisory for Nairobi, but maintained a warning for nonessential travel to Eastleigh, the scene of previous grenade attacks which is also inhabited by Kenyans of Somali origin.

Also read: UK travel advisory after grenade attacks

However, the travel advice for other parts of the country, including Mombasa and other towns bordering Somalia, has not changed following recent attacks and the continuing terrorist threats in those areas.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says it does not advise against travel to Kenya's popular safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies.

Ndegwa said the easing of the travel restrictions was welcome and timely move as KTB alongside other players in the industry prepare to attend one of the world's largest tourism expo in London.

"The softening of the travel advisory will boost our recovery message," he said, noting that Kenya will be represented by a delegation drawn from KTB, the ministry and private sector at the World Travel Market on Nov. 3-6.

The international trade fair is seen as key to showcasing what Kenya has to offer and to reassure the market that the country is safe.

A string of terror attacks in recent months had culminated with the mass evacuation of British tourists from Mombasa following two explosions that killed ten and injured 76 in Nairobi in May.

Analysts had also warned that the warnings are a blow to Kenya' s already troubled tourist industry which relies on foreign visitor, many of whom combine safaris with beach holidays in Mombasa.

The East African nation relies heavily on the currency of foreigners that travel to see the wildlife and natural beauty of the land.

 - Xinhua

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