Press statement by the Kenya Tourism Federation about the British FCO travel advisory

The Kenya Tourism Federation late yesterday issued the following statement, formulating the response of the tourism private sector over the
highly dramatic new anti travel advisory which the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in short FCO, has slapped upon Kenya. The statement, while dealing with the impact on the tourism industry in Kenya first and foremost, also at last puts the Kenyan government on the spot, something this correspondent has in past months done on a regular basis providing a platform for the many voices who have demanded action from government in vain until now.

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF TOURISM IN LIGHT OF THE
UPDATED TRAVEL ADVISORIES

15th May 2014

The private sector in tourism wishes to state the following in light of the updated travel
advisories from some our tourist source markets:

1. We are disappointed by the FCO statement discouraging all but essential travel to certain areas in the country including some parts of the Kenyan Coast. The UK has been a partner of Kenya for many years and is one of our key source markets for tourists. This advisory is a clear indication that impact of this on investments and employment was not considered as a key partner of Kenya. We urge the British Government to reverse this statement

2. All indications are that the statement was updated based on security related information. As citizens and investors in the sector, we are greatly disappointed in the lackluster reaction and sometimes inaction by Government officials who should be handling this and reassuring citizens, investors and our tourist source markets.

3. We demand that Government gives tourism the importance it deserves. As one of the key sectors of the economy and a key pillar of the Kenya Vision 2030, we feel that the Government just gives lip service to its affairs. Government has to wake up to the fact that its forex incomes and tax revenues are going to take a major hit. Tea prices have already decreased significantly in the international market and tourism which is the
2nd highest foreign exchange earner for the country is facing a major crisis in the wake of its high season. Counties that rely on tourism for its revenues should also take notice that they will not be able to meet their budgets and should factor in at least a 30% reduction in their projected revenues and much more in some counties.
Jobs have been lost and more job losses are on the way. Why isn’t the Government taking this as a serious matter? When a Miraa ban wasannounced last year, the President of the republic of Kenya himself gave a statement on this. The silence from his office on the state of tourism is of increasing concern to us.

The tourism sector is not only a source of much needed foreign exchange and tax revenues but also a large employer and a consumer of products and services from other sectors of the economy. Its’ trickle-down effect cannot be ignored. A down turn in tourism will soon be felt in other productive sectors of the economy including Agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing, motor vehicle and many more.

For more information, please contact:

Kenya Tourism Federation
Safety and Communication Centre
Tel: 020 8001000
Cell: 0722 745645/0738 617499
E-mail: ceo

Charity Katago
Tel: 0722 738583

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