US EMBASSY LIFTS STAFF TRAVEL BAN TO MOMBASA
Information was confirmed yesterday that the US Embassy in Nairobi has lifted the travel ban imposed on all their staff though that clearly did not affect the allegedly dozens of operatives of shadowy security organizations working the field in the war against terror at the Kenyan coast which the mission imposed two weeks ago.
The travel ban at the time was badly received by the Kenyan government and by the coasts hospitality and tourism industry many of whom compared it with a stab in the back inflicted on them by supposed friends.
The high profile withdrawal of staff from Kenyas port city of Mombasa was by many seen as a cowardly act and the ban overall perceived as an ambush of the highest order, leading to confusion amongst even overseas holiday operators thrown into a state of panic, as were many Kenyans of course at the time.
While not long afterwards a grenade was thrown into a local bar, similar to a few such incidents in the capital Nairobi, there was no indication other than the arrest of two alleged Iranian secret agents, that a major terrorist strike was imminent. The two Iranians are now in court facing a number of terror related charges and the Kenyan government was swift to cancel a major oil deal with Iran in the days following their arrest, though any direct connection was denied by official sources in Nairobi, which preferred to call the cancellation a compliance with embargo orders from the UN, still clouding relations between the two countries though for what appeared to be a overtly hostile act of aggression.
Occupancies at the Kenya coast remain a mixed bag though and while a number of top rated resorts like the Mombasa Serena or the Sarova Whitesands report high occupancies, others more dependent on budget holiday makers from the main European core markets are said to be struggling. That said though, perhaps it is all about quality and innovation and vision by the hoteliers, which makes some thrive where others fail as they are stuck in the same old same old of yesteryear. Watch this space.