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    Photo credit by Sabi Sabi Game Reseve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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UK tour operators gearing up for more travel to Kenya

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Kenya’s coastal tourism industry expects rapid improvements in visitor numbers, now that the UK’s leading tour operators have signaled a change in their attitude against the country and have promised to resume active sales from next month. This is a result of the change in language a few weeks ago of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’ travel advisories about Kenya.

While it is not expected that charter operations will resume immediately, airlines serving Mombasa, like Kenya Airways, Turkish, and Ethiopian, will be the immediate options to fly holidaymakers from the UK to the Kenyan coast. Work behind the scenes is, however, in full swing it is understood to resume charter flights from some of the UK’s main holiday charter departure airports like Gatwick to the Kenya coast, and indications are that at the start of the next high season in December, such flights will again be available to carry holiday makers to Mombasa.

Only last month, quarterly arrival statistics were published which showed the worst numbers since 2008’s political turmoil, but finally now there seems to be the end of the tunnel in sight.

It was pointed out by a Mombasa-based source that for now it will only be the resorts in Mombasa, Kilifi, Watamu, and Malindi which will benefit from the renewed sales activity in the UK, while resorts in more remote locations like Lamu continue to remain under stricter anti-travel advisories and will, therefore, not be featured.

Kenya continues to ride high in terms of global attention after the recent visit of US President Obama and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis in November and a series of high-profile conferences and meetings in Kenya, like the Africa Travel Association’s 40th Anniversary Congress, will no doubt help to promote the country as a safe and desirable destination for tourist visitors.

Source: Prof. Wolfgang H. Thome, Ph.D., eTN Africa Correspondent

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