Operators are preparing to reintroduce Mombasa and the coastal region of Kenya north of the city back into travel programmes following a revision of travel advice for the area by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The entire stretch of the Kenya coast from and including Watamu south to the border with Tanzania is now open for tourism business.
While 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 in 2014 and has always been a leading destination for safaris.
The reopening of travel to Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, and the area of the coast to the north, will enable a wide range of beach holiday to be offered.
Kenya Airways has introduced a special offer with economy return flights from Heathrow to Mombasa via Nairobi from £480.96 for bookings made by July 8 for travel between August 18-December 15 and January 11-March 18, 2016.
African Travel & Tourism Association chief executive, Nigel Vere Nicoll, 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, chief executive of 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.”
Virgin Holidays product manager, Caron Streeter, added: ‘Virgin Holidays are very pleased to hear the FCO advice for the Mombasa coast has been lifted.
“Kenya has always been an important destination to Virgin Holidays and with the recent addition of Sir Richard Branson’s lodge, Mahali Mzuri, to the programme we are of course giving it our full focus and support.”
David Pointer, head of product for Rainbow Tours, added: “This is fantastic news for Kenya and its entire tourism industry.
“Kenya is a favourite destination for Rainbow Tours’ clients and the change to the FCO advice will give more travellers the confidence to book and the opportunity to experience the variety and beauty of this remarkable country.”
Kate Hall, Africa sales and service manager for Imagine Africa, said: “This is great news for the Kenya coast and for our customers looking to combine safari and beach.
“Kenya is the perfect twin-centre destination and while we continued to send clients to the south coast areas with the advisory zone lifted we can sell the beautiful Mombasa area once again.”
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