Thursday, November 26, 2009

More British tourists set to visit Kenya

Tourists alight from an aeroplane. More British tourists are interested in coming to Kenya for holidays. Photo/FILE

Tourists alight from an aeroplane. More British tourists are interested in coming to Kenya for holidays. Photo/FILE  

By MATHIAS RINGA

Kenya’s image has improved remarkably in the United Kingdom tourist market, a European travel group said on Thursday.

The British tour operators said efforts by the Kenya Tourist Board in rebuilding the country’s image in UK following last year’s post-poll violence have been impressive.

Touristik Union International UK representatives Bobby Riley and Karen Hitchen revealed that more British tourists are interested in coming to Kenya for holidays than last year.

Tourist arrivals from UK dropped to 123,000 last year compared with 224,000 in 2007.

Currently the arrivals have soared to 134,730 which reflects a 15 per cent increase compared with 2008.

Ms Riley said Touristik Union has given Kenya a top priority tourist destination because of its diverse tourist attractions which include beaches and abundant wildlife.

“As one of the major travel group in Europe we are glad to note that Kenya’s image which was torn apart by the post-election violence last year has improved for the better,” the British tour operator said.

She, however, said KTB has a lot of home work to do before the tourist numbers tally or surpass those of 2007 when the country received the highest number of tourists.

The UK official made the remarks at Baobab Beach Resort in Diani when she presented the First Choice Gold Award to the hotel’s director, Mr Bimal Thaker.

Baobab resort won the award among 400 hotels from various parts of the world.

Tourism minister Najib Balala recently said the industry has recovered by 90 per cent.

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