Operators stick to Kenya programmes as riots intensify

UPDATE: Members of the Federation of Tour Operators have now cancelled all Kenya holidays due to depart before Sunday January 6 – updated 12.05, January 3

Tour operators are continuing to offer holidays to Kenya despite the death of about 300 people as a result of riots in the country.

As Travel Weekly went to press, violent demonstrations in the country were continuing in response to claims its election results were rigged.

ABTA has confirmed that the main tour operators to Kenya are continuing to operate their holiday programmes as planned, and that normal booking conditions apply. This is on the basis that the main tourist areas remain unaffected, transfers to and from airports in Mombasa and Nairobi are secure and have police escorts.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential travel. The urban centres of Kisumu, Kakamega, Kericho, Eldoret the Kisauni, Likoni and Tiwi areas around Mombasa, the rural areas between Nakuru and Eldoret and around Kericho in the Rift Valley have all been marked as trouble spots by the FCO.

African Safari Club director of sales, marketing and business development Daniel Sykes said the country did not need the bad press during the peak selling period. Sykes said: “The timing couldn’t be worse. We’d normally be enjoying lots of new bookings at this time of year.”

Somak Holidays marketing manager Louise Newton said the operator had not received any cancellations adding: “People interested in travelling to Kenya know there are risks.”

A Kenya Tourist Board spokesman added: “There is a strong police presence on the main highways to ensure the safety of visitors and Kenyans alike.”

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