Tourism stakeholders in Malindi have asked the international communities not to send tourists traveling advisories against visiting Kenya to their citizens following the recent terror attack at Riverside in Nairobi.
Speaking to the press in Malindi last Thursday, North Coast Hoteliers association chairperson Maureen Awuor said there is no need for tourists to fear in Kenya for everything is in control.
Ms. Awuor said the attack that took place on Tuesday 3 pm to Wednesday afternoon and left 21 people dead, several injured and about 700 people evacuated has been controlled by the government security agencies.
Ms. Awuor added that, “We want to tell all international tourists that our security forces have taken control of everything in time at Riverside and successfully terminated the terrorists.”
Speaking at the same time, a Malindi based Italian investor Franco Esposito, said that terror attacks do happen at any part of the world, Kenya not being a unique country, hence there is no need for international communities to send traveling warnings against Kenya.
“We urge our friends at the international level not to announce this as a threat to their citizens, because once they do so they will create a stampede and tourism in this area and Kenya at large will deteriorate drastically,” cautioned Esposito.
In her remarks Chief Officer Tourism Kilifi County government Mrs. Patience Tsimba said the tourism sector in Kilifi County has shown some improvement in the previous year compared to past years due to high percentage of tourists seen flocking in different parts of the towns.
Speaking on telephone yesterday, Mrs. Tsimba said, local tourists make up the great percentage of those who toured Kilifi County compared to those from the foreign countries.
Mrs. Tsimba said Kilifi county tourism statistic shows that the number of tourists visiting different parts of the coastal region like Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu and other tourist attraction areas has been increasing hence boosting the economy.
Tourism is a major economic gain in the coastal region since tourists visit various attraction sites such the beaches, hotels and archives, especially during the holidays therefore, increase the revenue collected by the Counties.
She added, “Hotels should be renovated so as to look more appealing and hotel managers need to work hand with the law enforcers in order to maintain security.”
However the CEO further added the Ministry of Tourism plans to hold a cultural event in the County at the end of March this year, for the locals to celebrate the Mijikenda cultural heritage.
Speaking at the same function, Kilifi County police commander Mr.Fred Ochieng’ echoed Mrs. Tsimba statement saying, his office will work hand in hand with Kilifi County government to ensure security is beefed up aimed at improving the tourism sector in the region.
By Simon Guruba and James Mwalimu