-- The Kenya’s tourism sector has seen a
drop of 40 per cent in hotel bookings due to the
anxiety surrounding the March 4 general elections.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry
said on Friday that hotel bookings have been
canceled mainly in coastal region for fears of
"Approaching the election date
the bookings are not there; that means people have
made their mind not to visit Kenya until after the
election," said Mike Macharia chief executive
Kenya Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC).
Kenyan voters will pick a new
president on March 4, the first election under a new
constitution and the first since the 2007 vote that
triggered ethnic clashes that left hundreds killed and
thousands displaced across the country.
According to tourism stakeholders,
hotel conference has dropped drastically due to the
Most of the diplomatic mission in
Kenya has suspended their activities.
"We had organizations like the
United Nations who sponsor conference in the country
but the activities are no more," KAHC Director
of Coast Region Sam Ikwaye said.
The East African nation’s coastal
towns are the backbone of the country’s thriving
tourism industry, which has been hit by the fear of
terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by
Somali pirates from resorts near the border with
"They are watching how the
country will hold the next election.
"The happenings of 2007-2008
post election period have not been forgotten,"
According to Vision 2030, Kenya’s
economic development plan, the tourism sector should
record 3 million tourists annually.
"If the elections go smoothly
we are going to the high season from June onward, it
can be great for Kenya and will see businesses
blossom, " added J.S Vohra, chairman KAHC.
"We ask all the leaders to
ensure the elections are held fair and smooth for
the sake of all Kenyans. We want peaceful voting and
acceptance of results," Vohra said.
The 2013 general election will mark a
great milestone in the country as it will be the first
election under new dispensation, said Macharia.
"We urge Kenyans to accept the
outcome of the election and forge ahead in nation
building, and candidate must accept the results and
those that do not win to concede defeat,"
The stakeholders met in the coastal
city of Mombasa and called upon the inspector of
police to ensure all Kenyans and visitors are safe
especially during the election period.