EDITORIAL: Step up vigilance

Maasai Mara
Tourists at the Maasai Mara. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Reports that the UK government has dropped Narok, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Meru and surrounding areas from a list of destinations in Kenya where it had advised its citizens to be vigilant over terrorism threat are welcome.

In the updated travel advisory, Britons were urged to be cautious while travelling through or in counties on Kenya’s northern border. From past experience, the local tourism industry has suffered a great deal when such advisories are issued following attacks. When they are issued they end up stifling growth in the sector, which is very sensitive to negative reports as they ultimately lead to cancellations of travel plans at a great cost to the economy.

The United Kingdom was the fourth largest source market for tourists after the US, Tanzania and Uganda. Some 134,002 Britons visited Kenya in 2018, which was an equivalent of 9.09 percent of the 2,025,206 total guests.

While we welcome the latest move to lift advisories on parts of the country, we would like to urge the government not to rest on its laurels but to ensure that our security agencies and the public at large are vigilant at all times.