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Economy

Coast beefs up security as hoteliers receive tourists for high season

Leopard Beach Hotel
Tourists enjoy a Sun bath at the Leopard Beach Hotel swimming pool in this photo taken on 14th January 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Security has been beefed up at the Coast as tourists start arriving for high season amid expectation of a boom this year.

Regional police commander Noah Mwivanda said patrols by a multiagency team have been heightened in terror-prone counties.

“We understand that some tourists have started visiting our region and they should be sure of their security. Our region has remained calm and you have our assurance that the situation will remain peaceful,” said Mr Mwivanda.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer, Sam Ikwaye, said a good number of tourists have arrived.

“We are at high season and we are expecting a large number of visitors. Last year was affected by high political temperatures; this year has been peaceful and with the extensive marketing, we are foreseeing a fruitful season,” Mr Ikwaye said.

The standard gauge railway has also eased travel to the coastal counties with plans by national carrier Kenya Airways to start direct flights to the US also promising to increase the number of visitors this year.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order for visitors from the African continent to get visas on arrival is further seen as a major incentive. Kenya last year earned Sh120 billion from tourim, registering a 20.3 per cent growth from 2016 figures.

Hotels, mainly at the Coast, have undergone major rehabilitation while new ones have been opened countrywide to cash in on better tourism performance.

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