Yesterday (29 October), the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office removed its advice against all but essential travel to Malindi following a review of the risk posed to UK visitors in the Kenyan town.
This boost to the local tourist industry follows the lifting of travel advisory in June against all but essential travel to Mombasa and Kilifi.
However, Lamu, Garissa and Eastleigh remain on the advised no-go areas for UK citizens.
According to the Kenya Tourism Board, in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2014, tourist numbers to Kenya dipped by 25 per cent.
Visitor numbers from the UK, traditionally one of Kenya’s biggest tourist sources, decreased by 35 percent to 36,022, although there has been a steady decline over the past few years.
This decline has had a negative impact Kenya’s GDP given tourism has traditionally been Kenya’s second greatest foreign exchange earner after agriculture. According to data site Knoema, this figure declined 2.7 percent over the last 10 years to 12 percent.
Kenya’s coast has been hard hit by the decline which has led to rising unemployment and hotels closing in the low season to save costs.
In response, the Kenyan government has been exploring new markets and has argued that the issuing of travel advisories in response to terror attacks means a ‘win’ for the terrorists.
Outgoing UK High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner has stated that the advisories are not selective and are not issued in, “a lack of solidarity,” but as a sworn duty of the FCO to the British citizenry.