Opinion and Analysis
Flights’ resumption a good boost for sector
Posted Sunday, July 29 2012 at 18:52
Reports that charter flights from Europe to the country have resumed is good news for the tourism sector, which is in great need of a massive confidence boost.
As the pristine beaches in the Coast and the annual wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara Game Reserve lure foreign visitors as the high tourism season kicks in, Moi International Airport in Mombasa has been receiving flights from Italy, United Kingdom and other European countries.
The sector has recently been beset by various hurdles, ranging from travel advisories issued by Western embassies and attacks by the Al-Shabaab militants. These had negatively affected the sector and resulted in the reduction of visitor numbers.
However, various initiatives by tourism players have resulted in renewed vigour, which has seen Italian airlines like Air Italy, Blue Panorama, Alitalia and EuroFly resume services to the coastal city.
Kenya Airports Authority also reported that Thomson Fly is also bringing tourists from the United Kingdom. Reports from other tourism attraction sites across the country like the Mara have reported increased visitor numbers.
We welcome the developments and also urge the government not to rest on its laurels, but ensure that it rolls out more initiatives to woo more visitors.
The tourism sector is a very sensitive industry and all it takes is a minor negative report about insecurity to trigger alarm across the world.
This means that the government must ensure that it maintains security and cracks down on Al-Shabaab militants from Somalia and their sympathisers in the country.
The Kenya Defence Forces and their Amison counterparts have been tackling the militants in Somalia and are said to be making headway.
Attacks by militants in Kenya and kidnapping of tourists are what prompted the Kenyan government to deploy its troops to the neighbouring war-torn country in the first place.