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TOURISM INDUSTRY TO WAIT LONGER BEFORE TRAVEL BANS ARE LIFTED

Lodewijik Briet,  Head of the European Delegation in Nairobi.

Lodewijik Briet, Head of the European Delegation in Nairobi.

Kenya will have to wait longer before the travel bans issued last year by members of the European Union (EU) are lifted due to the government’s failure to share security information.

According to the EU, the government has been reluctant to share relevant  information with embassies hence the delay in the lifting of the travel advisories.

European Union’s Head of Delegation in Kenya, Mr Lodewijk Briet maintains that without adequate information on security matters in Kenya, it is hard to have  the bans lifted.

“It is difficult for an embassy to give advise to its country to lift a ban when it lacks sufficient information about what the government is doing to curb insecurity,” he said.

Last year, a number of western governments issued travel advisories to Kenya following rampant acts of terrorism that were witnessed in the country, a move that affected the tourism industry.

The British government for instance advised its citizens to avoid travelling to Eastleigh in Nairobi and areas within 60 kilometres of the Kenya-Somalia border, warning of a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Citizens were advised to take a comprehensive travel and medical cover before visiting Kenya.

Hundreds of British tourists were also evacuated on chartered flights from Kenya’s coast.

The government appeared to take offence on the travel advisories and president Uhuru was quoted telling off western governments over the matter.

“Now they [western countries] are issuing travel advisories and evacuating their citizens over the terror incidents”, the President said, “and we are telling them that they can go if they want; we will do our own thing here. We are there to promote domestic tourism and we will shop for tourists in other nations.” He said.

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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