The UK has dropped Narok, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Meru and surrounding areas from its list of destinations in Kenya which her citizens have been cautioned to be “particularly vigilant” over terrorism threat.
UK is one of Kenya’s biggest tourist market and a travel advisory, therefore, spells disaster for the country which depends on tourism foreign exchange to power the economy.
In 2018, the European Island was the fourth largest source market for tourists after the US, Tanzania and Uganda with some 184,002 Britons visiting Kenya, an equivalent of 9.09 percent of 2,025,206 total guests.
It wasn’t good news across the board for Kenya though since the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has maintained its travel advisory in or through Nairobi, the Coast and resort areas around Mombasa and Malindi where British nationals are warned to be wary of possible terrorist attacks, including kidnappings.
In an updated travel advisory issued on Wednesday following the previous one in May, Britons have also been asked to be cautious while travelling through or in counties on Kenya’s northern border.
“Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings, could target Westerners, including British nationals,” the FCO maintains in the latest travel guidance.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs.”
Sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, commercial buildings, coastal areas including beaches, government buildings, airports, buses and trains are also listed as targets for terrorists.
The country’s foreign affairs ministry advises against all but essential travels to areas within 60 kilometres of the Kenya-Somali border, Garissa County and a larger part of the Lamu County, excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island.