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Tourism boom expected in Malindi as Britain lifts travel advisory

The British government has lifted the travel advisory against Malindi, boosting the coastal town ahead of the festive season.

The lifting of the advisory against the coastal town was revealed by Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed on Wednesday via her Twitter handle.

Kenya is a major destination for the British tourists who in June were allowed to travel to most parts of the Coast including Mombasa, Kilifi and Watamu.

The move signals a reprieve for players in the hospitality industry at the Coast that has been the hardest hit by negative travel advisories from a number of European governments following a spate of terrorist attacks in the country.

“I have this evening received a call from a British official James Doddridge informing that the UK travel advisory on Malindi has been lifted,” Ms Mohammed said on the micro-blogging site.

She said the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office would issue a formal statement later on the alert downgrade.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

The icy relationship between Kenya and UK that existed in the early days of President Uhuru Kenyatta presidency has, however, thawed, paving the way to more pragmatic diplomacy.

On 19th of this month, the US Embassy announced that travel restrictions to Malindi through Mombasa and Kwale counties to the Tanzanian border had been lifted.

“There are no longer general restrictions on travel to Malindi city in Kilifi County through Mombasa and Kwale counties to the Tanzanian border,” an email sent to its citizens and staff stated.

The US had issued restrictions against towns near the border with Somalia as well as Likoni ferry and Old Town in Mombasa.

The number of visitors to Kenya fell by 25 per cent in the first five months of 2015 according to Kenya Tourism Board figures, showing just how badly the industry has been damaged by a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed hundreds.

The travel warnings have crippled tourism and led to the closure of more than 40 hotels at the Coast due to low bed occupancy.

Source: Business Daily