10 February 2008

Crisis in Kenya's tourist industry

The election of President Mwai Kibaki on the 27th of December brought on violent incidents in Kenya. It forced most of UK tourists, who intended to spend their summer holidays there, to cancel their charter flights and hotel bookings.

For Kenyans their land was not only a snapshot of paradise but also the mainstay of local economy. Kenya's tourist industry normally accounts for 15% of GDP, but high rates of cancellations will leave hotels empty and thousands of cleaners, bar staff and tourist guides with no income. In real numbers, violence resulted in 20,000 hotel workers loosing their jobs.

Jake Grieves- Cook of Kenya's Tourist Board states that the massive decrease on the number of tourists will bring a revenue loss of about £126m claiming that ''This is the worst crisis the local industry has ever faced''.

The government, in an effort to calm tourists fears, stated that violence is fading and the situation is not what you see and what you hear in world media.

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