The Kenya tourism industry is preparing to reintroduce Mombasa and the region north of the city to Watamu back into travel programmes for the UK market following a revision of the travel advice for the area by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The entire stretch of the Kenya coast from and including Watamu south to the border with Tanzania is open for tourism business. Whilst the south coast has always remained outside the advisory zone, UK tourists will now be able to access the coast via Moi International Airport in Mombasa in addition to Ukunda airport in Diani.
Kenya received 117,201 visitors from the UK market in 2014 and has always been a leading destination for safaris in British consumers’ minds. With the re-opening of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, and the area of the Kenya coast north of Mombasa, British consumers will once again be offered a wider beach product, either combined with a safari in one of Kenya’s 59 national parks or as a stand-alone holiday.
Nigel Vere Nicoll, chief executive, African Travel & Tourism Association said: “The removal of the FCO Travel Advisory on the Kenya coast, to all areas south of Malindi, will once again restore beach itineraries to Kenya’s safari circuit, an unbeatable combination. Kenya’s golden beaches and blue skies have always been a favourite for British tourists and our members on the coast are, as I speak, preparing to welcome their return with their traditional “Karibu”, the warm Kenyan greeting. Atta’s members from all over Africa join me in sending their best wishes to our Kenyan partners in tourism and I am personally delighted that a jewel in Africa’s crown shines brightly once again.”
Ash Sofat, CEO, Somak said: “Mombasa has been a popular product for us with UK customers and we are pleased to reintroduce the region into our programme for the UK market. The option to fly into Moi international airport will open up the beautiful Mombasa coast to visitors and make beach breaks more accessible.”