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Economy

UK lifts travel ban on Eastleigh

Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner to Kenya. photo | mwangi elijah
Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner to Kenya. photo | mwangi elijah 

The British government has lifted travel alerts against Eastleigh after issuing restrictions in 2012 following a series of grenade attacks.

The UK has so far lifted travel bans against coastal towns of Mombasa and Kilifi, offering tourism a major lift.

The advisory is still in effect for most regions of Northeastern Kenya, which border the Somali boarder.

“The British Government will, today, remove the travel advisory against all but essential travel to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi,” the UK said in a statement on Monday.

Eastleigh is known as “Little Mogadishu” because of its large Somali population. It also a major business hub.

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The revision of the alerts comes as the tourism sector, which has been performing dismally over the past six years, is on a boom with occupancy of between 70 and 75 per cent in quarter one, up from about 50 per cent in the same period last year and about 30 per cent in 2015.

The growth is welcome news to hoteliers who had been forced to cut jobs, slash pay and close shop following the crippling effects of several travel alerts issued in 2014 after a spate of terrorist attacks.

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