Tourism stakeholders say CORD hurting tourism with IEBC protests

Tourism stakeholders say CORD hurting tourism with IEBC protests

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L-R, Peter Ngori (Chairman - KATO), Ms Lucy Karume (Tourist Transformation Task force Chairperson), Mike Macharia (CEO- Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers) . PHOTO: ALBERT MWANGEKA.

Nairobi, KENYA: Tourism stakeholders on Friday scolded opposition CORD’s move to hold weekly demonstrations saying that this is a threat to the sector that is currently undergoing recovery.

Kenya Tourism Federation, KTF, an umbrella body representing the interests of the mainstream private sector associations in tourism has said that tourism is a perception driven industry and many visitors are withdrawing their bookings.

“The images on social media and other platforms are painting a gloomy image for Kenya. In case of a conflict there are more amicable ways of solving a crisis,’ says KTF Chairperson Lucy Karume.

Peter Ngori CEO Kenya Association of Tour Operators KATO said that it is hard for tourists to visit when they come across negative information about the country especially during the high season.

Ms. Karume continued that Kenya is an economic giant in the east African region and should set the pace for neighbouring states in the region.

Mike Macharia, CEO , Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caters added that tourism in the country is normally at its peak during the months of June to September and many visitors would be scared to visit the country during these times.

“Our biggest worry is that we might lose out on potential clients who are yet to book their trips,” he continued.

He explained that the sector is recovering from terrorism threat and it is better to stabilize the industry even as the nation is heading towards the general elections.

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Kenya’s Tourism Sector has undergone extremely difficult times over the last four years and the key concern having been fears about personal security. tVisitor statistics indicate that the Coast has been most hard hit, having suffered a decline of 76% in tourist arrivals in 2015 (75, 982) as compared to 2005 (278, 021) which was a very good year.