Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fee increase won’t deter us, say UK tourists

By NATION Correspondent

British tourists on Thursday said they would not stop visiting Kenya even after their government increased passenger duty for departures from UK airports.

Holidaymakers who talked to the Nation in Mombasa said the increase in tax would not have a significant effect on tourist arrivals.

Mr Bob Skarry, who has been visiting Kenya for the last 16 years, said the increase was insignificant for regular tourists, who have already chosen the country as their second home. “I made a pledge when I first landed in Mombasa for my wedding in 1994 that we will be marking our wedding anniversary in Kenya and even with the increase in the taxes, we will still be coming to Kenya.”

The new rates, an increase of between £90 (Sh11,160) and £100 (Sh12,400), are effective from this month. In the new arrangement, it means British tourists to Kenya will be required to pay more, which some players in the industry fear could affect the arrivals.

The United Kingdom is one of the biggest source markets for tourists to Kenya, with the 2007 arrival figures standing at more than 200,000.

Another tourist, Mr David William Pocock, who is marking his 21 years of visiting Kenya with his wife, said the increased rate would affect other holiday- makers.