Mombasa,KENYA:Kenya has appealed to the United Kingdom (UK) to introduce direct scheduled flights to Mombasa to boost tourist arrivals.
Kenya Tourism Board KTB Chairman Jimi Kariuki said the Coastal region has seen the reduction in tourist arrivals since 2014 following the abrupt withdrawal of UK Charters from the route.
Kariuki who was speaking at the English Point Marina in Mombasa during the launch of the British Chamber of Commerce Coast Branch, noted that good air accessibility is key to the success of long-haul tourism destinations.
“Whereas the direct route between London and Nairobi is well serviced by Kenya Airways and British Airways, our coastal destinations are not and therefore there is an urgent need for the launch of direct flights from the UK to the Kenyan coast,” he emphasized”, he said.
The Kenyan coast bore the brunt of a tourism slump in 2014/2015 as a result of perceived insecurity in the region.
This led to the cancellation of travel bookings to the region by international travelers, mainly from the UK and European markets,according to KTB.
The UK is Kenya’s second leading international tourism source market after the United States.
Over the period January-November 2016, tourist arrivals into Kenya from the UK stood at 88,390, whereas over the same period arrivals from the USA stood at 90,046.