Mwazo says politicians pose threat to tourism
Posted Monday, July 23 2012 at 23:30
The tourism industry risks losing billions of shillings if politicians continue to polarise the country.
Tourism minister Dan Mwazo on Monday appealed to politicians to tone down on utterances that may put the country on the brink of ethnic clashes.
“Reports from our embassies and marketing agencies abroad indicate that tourists are afraid of coming to Kenya because of the heating political temperatures which they fear might result in another round of violence,” he said.
And with elections expected in the next seven months, Mr Mwazo asked politicians to preach peace.
Tourism was among the worst hit sectors by the violence that rocked the country in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 presidential polls.
Threats of terror attacks on the country by militant group Al-Shabaab has also discouraged potential visitors.
The US, for instance, which has for years been among the greatest contributor of tourists to Kenya, has on several occasions issued travel advisories to its citizens to keep away from parts of the country.
The minister downplayed reports that terror threats and travel advisories have negatively affected the industry.
“In fact, the peak season is just beginning and our hotels are already 80-90 per cent full,” he said.