KenyagistTourism was not affected by protests, says PS

Tourism was not affected by protests, says PS

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The ongoing anti-government demonstrations witnessed in major cities have not affected the tourism industry.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, hotels across the country continued to receive visitors without a hitch.

Speaking in Mombasa while opening a one-day Safety and Security Capacity Building Workshop for the tourism industry, the Tourism PS John Ololtuaa said despite the chaos witnessed, tourists continued to come to Kenya.

“Even right now our hotels continue to receive guests without any hitches. As a government, we are happy with the numbers and we hope the numbers continue to grow,” Ololtuaa said.

The PS said the national government will continue to work closely with the counties and all players in the tourism industry, to ensure the it remains secure for development.

The workshop, he said, comes at the right time to help industry players share knowledge and skills and also share best practices accepted both locally and internationally in safeguarding the sector.

“We want to be able to identify risks and plan how best to address them for the sustainability of the industry by ensuring tourists are not affected.”

“The overall aim of this engagement is to ensure we secure and showcase Kenya as a premium tourism destination and to promote the brand Magical Kenya,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the chief executive officer of the Kenya Tourism Federation Susan Ogallo who said no guest was affected by the demos.

The anti-government demos on Tuesday entered week three with properties getting destroyed by goons who infiltrated the peaceful protests in major cities across the country.

“We have been coordinating well with the tourism police unit and the police in general to ensure that tourists avoid routes that will make them encounter protesters,” Ogolla said.

He added that in the last one year, insecurity incidents involving tourists had reduced significantly as she also asked police not to delay tourists in a situation where a tour van has been stopped or detained.

“If a vehicle or a driver has issues, issue them with a ticket to appear in court at a later date and not hold them to delay tourists,” she said.

 Mombasa County Commissioner Mohammed Noor said the county will no longer allow the protests to go on as he assured residents and guests of their safety.

This comes after the Tuesday peaceful protests turned violent and led to the burning of at least five cars within the CBD and shops looted by hooligans who had infiltrated the demos.

“Going forward we will not allow demos in Mombasa. The protests have been hijacked by goons hell-bent on looting and destroying properties,” he said.

“I want to assure our guests and visitors that Mombasa is safe, we have deployed enough officers to ensure the safety of all. Go out there and enjoy what Mombasa has to offer in terms of tourism,” he said.

He at the same time said they have begun a man-hunt for the goons who looted and destroyed properties.

“We will arrest them all,” he said.

Mombasa County’s chief officer for trade, tourism and culture Pauline Oginga reiterated the county’s commitment to working with security apparatus within the county to ensure Mombasa is safe.

Oginga said the county was looking to procure more CCTV cameras within the city to boost security and surveillance.

“We are also set to establish the Mombasa Tourism Safety Centre to coordinate all safety-related activities, provide regular training and offer real-time updates on potential threats,” Oginga said.

“This centre will enhance our ability to manage and mitigate risks effectively.”

Source: theStars .co.ke
Original writer: ONYANGO OCHIENG’

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