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Published on : Saturday, June 20, 2015
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s decision to lift their travel advice for Kenya’s coastal resorts from Watamu to Diani will enable tourists to enjoy top beaches in the region.
“While our operators have continued to send their guests to the southern areas of the coast including Diani, Wasini and Msambweni, we look forward to welcoming guests back to Mombasa and the beautiful coastline of Watamu and Kilifi,” KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Britain on Thursday relaxed travel advisory on Kenya to its nationals against travelling to the coastal resorts which had experienced a slump in tourist numbers.
London said the advice against all but essential travel to the stretch of coast including Mombasa County and Kilifi County up to Watamu town has been removed. However, warnings will remain in place for areas including Nairobi’s Eastleigh suburb which is inhabited largely by Kenyans of Somali origin.
Kenya received 117,201 visitors from Britain at the close of 2014, which has been the leading source market for Kenya. The drop in arrivals compared to 149,699 in 2013 can be attributed largely to the 14-month ban on non-essential travel.
“With the re-opening of the area of the Kenya coast north of Mombasa, British consumers will once again be offered a wider beach offering, either combined with a safari in one of Kenya’s 59 national parks or as a stand-alone holiday,” Ndegwa said.
He said the south coast has always remained open to British travelers but noted that lifting the travel ban to the north “means British tourists can now enjoy the larger coastal area, including one of the top beaches Watamu.”
Kenya’s tourism has suffered a decline in the number of tourists arriving since September 2011 when the Somali militant group, the Al-Shabaab, carried out the kidnappings of tourists in the Lamu archipelago and the kidnapping of the Spanish volunteers.