The United Kingdom on Wednesday warned its citizens against non essential travel to Mombasa and its environs, following recent terrorist related attacks in the city.
In a statement posted on its official website, UK said the advisory extended to areas located five kilometers of the Coast from Mtwapa creek in the North of Mombasa, and Tiwi in South Coast, but did not include Diani or Moi international airport.
“If you are currently in an area to which we now advise against all but essential travel you should consider whether you have an essential reason to remain. If not, you should leave the area,” the statement read in part.
“There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. You should take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance,” the advisory warned further.
Other areas where the advisory warned British nationals against visiting include Eastleigh in Nairobi, Garissa, areas within 60kms of the Kenya Somalia border, and low income areas in Nairobi including all slums.
But hoteliers in Mombasa termed the advisory reckless and said the UK should instead share any intelligence information they have with Kenya and help the country avert any unlikely impending attacks.
“They (UK) are justified to protect their citizens, but it was not necessary to issue such an alarmist statement which is now causing unnecessary panic,” Sam Ikwaye of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caters, told Baraka FM.
He said already they had received many calls from their customers in the Mombasa, saying the advisory had added to the woes currently afflicting the fragile tourism sector.
Kenya receives an average of about 200,000 British tourists annually.