The Kenya High commissioner to Botswana, Jean Kimani, has assured travelers and tourists that Kenya is still a safe place to visit despite the recent catastrophes.
Addressing Journalists on Monday, Kimani downplayed claims that the recent Westgate and the Airport attacks had negatively affected the tourism sector.
In August this year, fire engulfed the East Africa regional hub, the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport arrival hall, and before the country could heal from that, the up market West Gate Mall was attacked by terrorists on the 21 September.
The Westgate is a tourist draw card for the Kenyan capital with both expatriates and Kenya’s wealthy frequenting the mall shopping and outings.
The two misfortunes saw many foreign nations issuing out travel advisories to their citizens, with other countries appealing to their citizens to be alert when they visit.
Kimani said even though the incident dominated headlines worldwide for days the attack was just a small glitch in the country’s tourism sector.
“In fact this year’s tourism has been good despite the attacks,” she said. She added that the trends before and after the attack show that the situation did not shake the systems it was business as usual.
“Terrorism is an international problem that every country must play its part to combating it,” said Kimani. She highlighted that Kenya is ready to move forward.
She guaranteed Batswana visiting Kenya of peace and tranquility. “Our security forces are on high alert and we have international support and the best intelligence in the world to make sure that we are safe. We have put adequate resources to ensure that our boarders are well protected,” said Kimani.
“We look forward to enhancing our trade links with Botswana,” said Kimani. Kenya is interested in gaining expertise in mining, an area where Botswana has decades of experience whilst Botswana wants to borrow skills from Kenya’s agriculture.
Kimani insisted that the recent International Ecotourism Conference and other conferences held in the country in the recent past were an indication of world’s confidence in Kenya.
In addition, Kimani appealed to the International Community to look into how rhino poaching can be combated as it is rampant in Kenya.
Juliet Zintambila the Country Manager at Kenya Airways said the two catastrophes did not affect their business.
“I can safely say for Kenya Airways it was business as usual, we did not experienced any passenger decline in fact its picking up, a lot of tourists are travelling to Mombasa,” said Zintambila.
She said Kenya Airways is looking into introducing the daily flights between Gaborone and Nairobi in 2014.