Balala holds talks to lift travel advisories in Lamu

Balala holds talks to lift travel advisories in Lamu

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala greets security personnel in Lamu town. PHOTO/COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has pledged to ensure travel advisories on Lamu which have lasted for over five years are lifted.

Balala who was  accompanied by representatives from the British High Commission said his office would meet with representatives from the affected countries and reach a common agreement which will see the advisories done away with.

Speaking at the Peponi Hotel in Lamu on Tuesday,Balala  lauded the national government for efforts to ensure peace and calm returns to Lamu.

He said they were also assessing the security situation before a decision is reached over the same.

“We are here to assess how the situation is since 2014 when the terror attacks happened. We plan to hold extensive talks with countries that have advisories on Lamu to see if they can be lifted,”said Balala.

He also said that the security situation in Lamu had improved greatly since 2014 when the region experienced the worst terror attack after Alshabaab militants raided and killed over 60 people.

Lamu Tourism Association chair Ghalib Alwy who also spoke during the event said the move was timely and would rescue the sector from possible collapse.

Alwy appealed to the CS to push for the lifting of the advisories since they were also stifling Lamu’s economy.

“The tourism sector in Lamu is as good as dead right now majorly due to the active advisories. We are appealing to the national government to enhance and increase security so that tourists can restore  confidence in us,” said Alwy.

Alwy said tourists had snubbed Lamu owing to increased terror attacks, a situation he said has almost strangled the tourism sector.

“The economy here has gone from bad to worse. We hope the advisories shall be lifted so that the sector can heal,” added Alwy.

READ ALSO: Lamu tourism sector still badly hit by Insecurity

The CS together with his entourage  met county governor Issa Timamy and also held a closed door meeting with the county security committee chaired by county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri.