WTM 2015: FCO advice opens up Kenyan coast

WTM 2015: FCO advice opens up Kenyan coast

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Last week saw the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office change its travel advice for Kenya, removing a barrier to travel to the country’s coast.

Now there are no restrictions to travel to the Kenyan coast between Malindi in the north and the border with Tanzania in the south.

“This covers the main coastal destinations,” said Kenya Tourism Board managing director Murlithi Ndegwa. “We hope that the remaining advice against travel to Lamu will be removed soon too.”

“We welcome this change to the advice but it provides no guarantee that tourists will return – we need to encourage them, and yesterday the tourism minister announced three initiatives geared to helping this happen.”

These initiatives include the waiver of landing fees for charter flights to the coast for the next two years, an incentive of $30 per passenger for passengers landing with a charter on the coast, and a waiver of visa fees for all under 16s visiting any area of the country.

The aim is to encourage the reintroduction of charter flights with partners who have suspended them and to open up relationships with new carriers, and to stimulate the family market.

Ndegwa says the initiatives will be applied as soon as possible, ideally in time to encourage travel during this winter season.

The Kenya Tourism Board will launch a UK travel agent incentive in Travel Weekly in January. Running for two months, agents will be invited to enter a competition to win a holiday to Kenya with an additional bonus entry into the draw for all Kenya bookings logged, and five additional bonus entries awarded for bookings that include one or more of the tourism board’s private sector partners.

A global TV and online advertising campaign highlighting countrywide attractions is due to launch soon, and Ndegwa hopes that a raft of high profile visits and events will also raise the profile of Kenya for the right reasons. US President Barack Obama visited in July, and this month the Pope will visit Kenya.

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