COAST HOTELIERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANTI TERRORISM TRAINING
(Posted 27th November 2013)
The Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association has on behalf of their wide ranging membership endorsed the training opportunity availed by what has been described as a ‘specialized team from Israel’, which is currently at the Kenya coast to offer special anti terrorism training.
According to information received have a number of hotels and resorts sent in key security personnel to participate in the course who can then in turn also train other staff in the new surveillance and intelligence gathering skills they acquired in the week long exercise.
The subjects taught will include mostly how to profile individuals and deal with suspect characters, the use of modern scanning equipment and the techniques used to, if necessary, overpower or contain potential attackers.
Tourism to the Kenya coast has taken a serious downturn since last year, aggravated by the Westgate attack in Nairobi, as anti travel advisories were swift to be slapped on Kenya once again by supposedly friendly countries, which in turn have encouraged Kenya to be part of the multinational force in Somalia and by form of a thank you note then in the same breath try to destroy Kenya’s crucially important tourism industry with their sharpish warnings. The latest bad news came in fact overnight when TUI Nordic apparently confirmed that their last charter arrival into Mombasa will be on 17th February already, instead as expected run the flight series until after Easter, citing low sales in the face of a reputation crisis Kenya’s adversaries have managed to spread around the world.
South Coast hoteliers, who just had an occupancy boost during the AFRAA meetings in Diani, also pointed out the lengthy waiting periods caused by Kenya Ferry Services at the Likoni ferry crossing, which according to at least one source saw delegates for that conference wait up to 3 hours to cross, not the best way to greet visitors from across Africa. ‘I agree with my colleagues who demand that Mombasa must clean up their garbage, seal the potholes and for the ferry services to finally give priority to tourism vehicles. It is bad enough they keep delaying wananchi but delaying tourists to or from their resorts damages our reputation abroad and makes our recovery marketing efforts even more difficult. Our tourists know it, their tour operators know it and the county government in Mombasa should know it if they are not busy playing ostrich about our problems or hatch new schemes to tax us more’ ranted a regular coast based source. Challenges galore for sure but there is of course the option to turn adversity into opportunity. Time will tell how well that works for coast tourism. Watch this space.