Home' Travel News : April-May 2017 Contents 22 travel news april/may 2017
april/may 2017 travel news 23
Everyone keeps asking me about the
state of play in Kenya tourism. As a born
optimist I tend not listen to stories of gloom
and doom but instead look for the bright
light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m now told reliably there is no bright light.
One of the best coasts in the world with
its award winning beaches lies virtually
empty. With the beaches empty, the
hotels struggle to survive. Kenya’s coast
is or was all about mass tourism, with
large numbers of package holidaymakers
arriving on charter flights from Europe
directly into Mombasa. Today few still
operate, even those that do, with vastly
Our safari destinations to the best game
parks and reserves in the world are bereft
of tourists. In times of plenty particularly
during the migration, deals can still be had,
something not previously experienced.
Resident rates abound.
Local so-called domestic tourism is growing
but at a very slow pace, it need impetus
driven by the Kenya Tourist Board. Today
not tomorrow. Conference tourism if it can
be called that is propping up the Kenyan
hotel industry. But it is exceptionally price
sensitive, with unbelievable deals to be
From a tourism perspective Kenya is
simply not on any western countries radar
right now. We are simply not front-of-face,
an oft repeated retort to my saying I’m
from Kenya is “That’s not a very safe place
is it?’ The simple answer to that is that it
is a safe travel destination. We need to
change perceptions such as this and this
is all about promoting the destination and
not simply relying on National Geographic
or Animal Planet to generate interest.
Our tourist board with its new leader needs
to start dishing-the-dosh, with advertising
and marketing campaigns across our
proven source markets. There was talk
some years ago of combining all that is
Kenya into a shop-front; in for example
London, New York and so on. Come in
for a tea or coffee; see what Kenya has to
offer from a broad range of perspectives to
include obviously tourism. A public-private
partnership enterprise. What happened to
Like another prominent promoter of tourism
to Kenya, I choose to remain optimistic –
but I’d like a little help from my government.
Promote, promote, promote – it is the only
way to turn the tide.
One of the great promoters of Kenya
tourism was recently photographed
onboard a flight from London wearing a
surgical mask. The ‘Man in the Iron Mask’
came to mind.
He had this to say on a recent FaceBook
post: I flew back to Nairobi last night.
Some airlines, including British Airways,
are now spraying passengers with
insecticide on flights INTO Nairobi as well
as out. The sprays contain toxic chemicals.
Phenothrin or synthetic pyrethroids,
which are neurotoxins are routinely used
after breathing in the spray include acute
respiratory and sinus problems, rash/
hives, headache, and anaphylactic shock,
as well as chronic immune, respiratory, and
With little ventilation and in such a closed
space, spraying pesticides on airplanes
while passengers are still on board does
not seem a good idea, particularly for
sensitive groups like children, pregnant
mothers, and the wazee like me!
A friend of his added to the post: There is
no evidence justifying this very superficial
fumigation process. It used to be done
in Australia, now discontinued. Suggest
a campaign of class action or similar vs.
airlines doing this. Very toxic and entirely
unnecessary. Masks will not help with skin
contact and these chemicals/fumigants
require activated charcoal respirators, not
Now that’s a worrying story for all of us.
A response to our last edition asked the
question why we made no mention of the
situation in Laikipia with illegal herders
invading ranches and game conservancies.
Sometimes violently, loss of life followed,
An inept government response which was
a longtime coming hardly stemmed the
tide. Ironically it was the international press
that brought this situation to the top of our
governments to-do list. It must be pretty
embarrassing to be told by a reporter in
London that you have a problem just down
Onward & upward.....
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