United Kingdom spares Kenya’s tourist top destination from fresh travel sanctions as holiday festive season beacons

Coming at a time when the holiday festive season is just around the corner, the travel advisories would have been a death sentence to Kenya’s hospitality industry.

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  • FCO said in its advisory issued Tuesday that the caution did not include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies as well as beach resorts.
  • Coming at a time when the holiday festive season is just around the corner, the travel advisories would have been a death sentence to Kenya’s hospitality industry.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has spared Kenya’s tourist top destinations in a fresh travel advisory to its citizens even after the November 20th incident where an Italian volunteer was kidnapped, sparking fresh fears of renewed attacks by militant Islamists and foreign travel sanctions.

FCO said in its advisory issued Tuesday that the caution did not include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies as well as beach resorts.

“The area to which the FCO advice against all but essential travel doesn’t include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies,” said the advisory.

“Nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island,”

The advisory however, cautioned British citizens against non-essential travel to areas within 60 kilometres of the Kenya-Somali border.

Garissa, a larger part of the Lamu, areas north of Tana River within the Tana River County and those within 15km off the coast from the Tana River down to the Galana River was also included in the travel advisory.

The tourism industry which has since recovered from the lows of 2013 where insecurity incidences were rampart forcing UK and other foreign countries to issue advisories resulting to tourism earning dropping from Sh94 billion in 2013 to Sh84.6 billion in 2014.

Due to relative calm and improved security, the earning surged to Sh120 billion last year.

On the wee hours of the morning of November 20th  a gang of armed men stormed Chakama trading centre in Magarini constituency and started shooting indiscriminately before abducting the 23-year-old Italian lady identified as Sylvia Romano, a volunteer with Africa Milele Onlus, a Non-Governmental Organization operating in the area.

Ms Romano is yet to be rescued and no group has claimed responsibility.

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