June, 2015

On 11th June 2015, British High Commissioner, Dr. Christian Turner, held a meeting with Coast Tourism Stakeholders at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort as had been communicated earlier.

The meeting was hosted by KAHC National Chairman JS Vohra on behalf of KTF and was attended by members of the tourism fraternity from all parts of the Coast including Mombasa, Diani, Malindi, Watamu, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River. Mombasa CEC for Tourism Hon Joab Tumbo was in attendance as well as his counterpart from Taita Taveta.

The High Commissioner informed all present that he had met with officials from the County and National government and observed that improvements had been made concerning security and that this was encouraging. He also explained that the travel advise originates from Ministers in the UK and is purely based on security assessments and not political considerations.

The meeting then went into an interactive session where stakeholders gave their views particularly with due regard to “non essential” travel advise, the fact that clients are not able to access insurance from their home countries, other European countries reacting to the UK travel advice among other issues.

The High Commissioner indicated the following:-

  • That he would take up the issue of travel insurance with some of his colleagues in the UK in an effort to alleviate this problem.
  • That he was not in a position to give a definite date as to when the travel advise would be reviewed favorably.
  • That he would like to continue with dialogue both with the private sector and government.
  • That he welcomes any comments regarding the wording of the travel advise and industry members are encouraged to make suggestions where they think the wording may be unnecessarily harsh.

Hon Joab Tumbo on his part promised to revert with realistic timelines regarding the road leading to the ferry service.

All felt that this was a meaningful engagement and is a good start to the industry’s campaign to have the UK travel advise reviewed.

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