January 15, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kenya tourism officials are working diligently to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the country. In order to keep the traveling public up-to-date on the situation on ground in Kenya, we are sending out continual updates on the current state of affairs within the country with regard to the tourism infrastructure. Please be sure to monitor the situation on all fronts, as the situation is fluid and can change at any time. The KTB strongly urges travelers and travel suppliers to make informed decisions based upon all the information that is available on Kenya’s state-of-affairs by continually checking with all available informed sources. As always, all U.S. travelers into Kenya should register themselves through the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi at: http://travelregistration.state.gov.
Once again there were no security problems in Nairobi and it was a normal Monday with busy traffic in the city centre and all offices and banks open as usual.
There were no problems for any tourist vehicles driving through the city, no delays, and all transfers to and from the airport and to the Nairobi hotels operated as normal.
Everything is back to normal and there were no problems affecting tourists in any of the beach resorts or in Mombasa. The Likoni ferries are in operation as normal. Some tour operators have now re-introduced City Tours once again into Mombasa and all safaris and excursions out of Mombasa continue as usual. There have been no crowds or demonstrations apart from a small group of youths attempting to hold a peaceful procession at 11 am but who were dispersed by police without any violent confrontation. All transfers and safaris continue to operate as normal from Mombasa.
Parks and Reserves
There were no reports of any problems anywhere in the parks, reserves or tourist routes. All national parks and reserves may be visited by road or air as normal. The daily scheduled services linking all the parks continue to operate as normal.
Although there were no reports of any problems in Western Kenya today, we recommend that the areas beyond Nakuru to Eldoret, Kericho, Kakamega and Kisumu continue to remain off-limits to tourists for the time being. However these are not areas normally visited by tourists as part of their safari itinerary. Kenya Airways continue to operate flights to Kisumu and have added a daily service to Eldoret.
Overall there is a feeling that things are quickly getting back to normal and calm has been restored.
There is now increased attention being given to people who were displaced by the unrest a week ago. The tourism industry is joining other organisations in supporting the Kenya Red Cross in providing food and shelter – details will be provided shortly. There are adequate stocks of food and fuel in Kenya and transport services have resumed so that deliveries are being made to areas where supplies had been disrupted.
The large rallies planned for Tuesday have been cancelled and the political parties now appear to be moving towards negotiation to try to resolve the current political crisis.
Throughout the period of civil unrest and even at the height of the problems when there was continual footage of riots on TV, no tourists were harmed in any way, in spite of over 30,000 international tourists being in Kenya. The tourism industry ensured that there was close liaison and communication 24 hrs a day to avoid tourists being endangered. Now it appears that tensions are being calmed and that normalcy has returned.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - The U.S. State Department has updated travel information for Americans travelling to Kenya on their website. For more information please visit www.travel.state.gov. Additionally, travellers can visit the U.S. Embassy site in Nairobi at www.kenya.usembassy.gov.
We will advise if there are any changes in the situation in Kenya, but at present, we continue to welcome North American travelers and all tourism infrastructure units are operating as normal. We are monitoring the situation carefully and will continue to distribute updates on the status of this situation if changes arise. For additional information, please contact the Kenya Tourist Board at 866-44-KENYA / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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