Kenya is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa, very famous for wildebeest Migration an event that takes place in Masai Mara. Kenya’s reputation has been attributed to ability in athletics and unrivaled tourist attractions and particularly the latter made Kenya a preferred holiday destination for tourists. This image drastically dropped following the frequent terror attacks recently that have scared away tourists on top of the negative travel advisories by western countries has pulled back the Kenya’s tourism industry, witnessed in the reduced tourist arrivals in the country.
A top world tourism official Sectary General Dr Taleb Rifai called on the international community to give Kenya the support it needs, he noted that the country is a shining example in the tourism sector and that it has support of the entire United Nation System. He said terror is a global challenge which requires all nations to join hands in combating it.
He said all this when he paid a courtesy visit to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi on 26th April. He assured the President that Kenya is not alone, it has their support. He added that the travel advisories issued by certain nations do not go well for the receiving countries particularly the tourism sector; He said “these forces of darkness want to scare the people from coming to Kenya but we should not allow them to derail us from our goals”.
He said world tourism organization is taking a positive action in promoting Kenya as one of the best tourist destinations by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Kenyan government. The MOU is aimed at restoring Kenya’s glorious image, and re positioning it international as a wonderful safari destination it is, as well as providing the Kenyan government with a crisis management tool kit and manual to help the country respond to tourism related crisis at an international level.
Dr Rifai said the tourism sector needs to be well exploited to its full potential as it would in return create more jobs and foster development. He called on the Kenyan government to encourage domestic tourism, and added that the World tourism organization will support Kenya in its endeavors to nurture it’s tourism sector.
President Uhuru Kenyatta pointed out that the negative travel advisories create fear and despondency and therefore urged the western nations to work hand in hand with the government before the travel advisories are issued. He thanked UNWTO for its support and commended other East Africa community states for promoting the region as a single tourism destination with the recently introduced single tourist visa between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and soon Tanzania and Burundi.
President of United States of America Barack Obama is expected to visit the country in July this year, and just before that the former president Bill Clinton and Secretary General just concluded their visit in Kenya. This is perceived as a good thing as Kenya is likely to regain international confidence as a safe country to travel and its hoped that this will open the flood gates of tourists to Kenya of the top safari destinations in Africa.