The Tourism sector lost approximately Kshs. 5 billions owing to the cancellations and travel advisory issued by four western Nations. The industry players have called upon the Kenyan Government to urgently intervene as this will lead to the industry near collapse.
In a press conference, the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers Chief Executive Officer Mike Macharia said that about 900 tourists had left the country and there was urgent need to salvage other bookings for the peak season in November. Mr. Mike Macharia urged the government to engage the British foreign office in bid to lift the ban.
“If nothing happens we can kiss tourism goodbye and we can go back to the drawing board, Britain, Australia, France and their United States source markets form part of the core tourism suppliers, if any of these is affected it has such a huge impact on tourism revenue ,” he said.
The UK this week issued a travel advisory to its citizens against unnecessary travel to Mombasa following recent attacks and the continuing terrorist threats in the area.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the advisory includes Mombasa island and within five kilometres of the coast from Mtwapa creek in the north to Tiwi in the south excluding Diani or Moi international airport.
UK citizens have been urged to leave the area unless they have an essential reason to remain.
According to the Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels Secretary General Robert Njeru says, that more than 30 hotels have been closed in Mombasa affecting about 100,000 employees.
According to Moi International Airport manager Yatich Kagongo 236 tourist who were on holiday were evacuated on Thursday night while the remaining 256 left on Friday for the UK.
Insecurity caused tourist arrivals to decline marginally in 2013 according to the tourism sector performance as international arrivals by air and sea dropped by 11.7 percent to close at 1.09 million arrivals down from 1.23 million arrivals recorded in 2012 while Jomo Kenyatta International Airport arrivals dropped by 14 percent to 900,000 from 1.047 million recorded in 2012.
Tourism revenue in 2013 declined by 2.13 percent to close at Sh93.97 billion from Sh96 billion.