Tourism lobby upbeat despite Supreme Court ruling

Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohamed Hersi. FILE photo | nmg
Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohamed Hersi. FILE photo | nmg 

The Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) has moved to calm nerves of international visitors after the Supreme Court prolonged the electoral process last Friday.
KTF chairman Mohamed Hersi on Monday informed tour operators and travel agents based in overseas markets that Kenya remained receptive to tourists.

“All is well in Kenya, and we call on holidaymakers who were planning to visit the country to come and have fun,” he said.

“We expect the country to remain peaceful during a repeat of the presidential election to take place within 60 days.”

Mr Hersi said normal life continues in Nairobi and all the tourist circuits including the national parks, game reserves and the beach resorts at the Coast.

“We are still in peak season for the safari circuit as international visitors are still pouring in the Maasai Mara National Reserve for game drives and other parks across the country,” said Mr Hersi who is also the chief executive at Sun Africa Hotels.

He said he expects more tourists to visit the Coast as the winter season approaches in Europe.

Lodges and tented camps in the Mara have since July been busy, thanks to the wildebeest migration spectacle.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye said hotel occupancy in Mombasa had improved following the calm enjoyed after the Supreme Court verdict.

He said hotel guest numbers had jumped to 60 per cent up from 50 per cent last month due peace in the region.

“At the Coast, international arrivals are on the increase following resumption of charter flights from Europe to Mombasa two months ago,” he said.

The KAHC official added that a repeat of the presidential election would not affect the industry given that the country enjoyed peace during the General Election last month.