Peace key in boosting Coast tourism, UK envoy Hailey says

Tuesday November 7 2017

Coast tourism

From left: Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and French Ambassador Antoine Sivan tour a public beach shortly after a meeting on issues affecting Kenya’s Coastal region on November 6, 2017. EU and UK pledged to help Coast counties revamp tourism. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MATHIAS RINGA
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The United Kingdom and the European Union will collaborate with the six Coast county governments on security, investment and tourism.

UK ambassador to Kenya Nic Hailey has said his government will continue to support the counties to address violent extremism, youth radicalisation and terrorism for sustainable peace.

The ambassador said the UK and the EU officials on Monday had a cordial meeting with Governor Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) and leaders from the other counties to find ways of addressing insecurity.

“We held talks with the governors and county officials on security. Our wish is for the county chiefs to support peace initiatives for the safety of locals and visitors,” he said.

PROMOTE TOURISM

Mr Hailey added that the UK government will support the coastal counties to promote tourism as part of efforts to revive the industry.

The ambassador said the Coast has the potential to woo more British holidaymakers since it is endowed with beautiful beaches, warm weather and friendly people.

“I am among the British who visit Mombasa and other parts of the region for holiday due to the stunning beaches and tropical weather,” he added.

The UK market, he added, had over the years been supporting Kenya’s tourism.

He said the region would draw large numbers of international visitors if peace could be maintained.

Speaking to journalists at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort on Monday, Mr Hailey said the UK government would also support health, investment and infrastructural projects.

SUSTAINABLE PEACE

Governor Joho, who also attended the press briefing, said Mombasa and the other counties will collaborate with the UK government and the EU on security efforts to achieve sustainable peace in the region.

The governor thanked the UK government for supporting security activities in Mombasa such as fighting violent extremism and youth radicalisation.

“Through support from the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK has helped us empower our youth through plucking them out of poverty,” Mr Joho said.

Mr Joho said governors from the region would combine efforts to address challenges facing Coast residents.

The counties, he added, will collaborate with the UK government and the EU on tourism promotion.

The governor said Mombasa being the country’s tourism hub, would be on the forefront in promoting the destination in international markets for the region to woo more holidaymakers.