Blow to tourism as Kenya rated risky

masaiherders

A new study is threatening tourism recovery efforts by rating key tourist attraction areas in the country as high risk for travellers.

The survey by International SOS, a major global medical and travel security services company, lists Nairobi and Mombasa among areas that are highly risky for foreign travellers.

International SOS’ Travel Risk Map for 2016 also lists Samburu, West Pokot, Marsabit, Isiolo, areas west of Garissa town and Lamu as high security risk for travellers.

In general, Kenya is rated as being medium risk for visitors with periodic political unrest, violent protests, insurgency and sporadic acts of terrorism.

“Travellers may face risk from communal, sectarian or racial violence and violent crime. Capacity of security and emergency services and infrastructure varies. Industrial action can disrupt travel,” states the survey.

The study comes just two months after USA lifted a travel ban on the Kenyan coast. Britain reviewed its travel advisory to the Coast in June. International tourism arrivals between January to August dropped by 18.4 per cent to 496,579 visitors.

According to the study, travelling to Kenya is riskier than in neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda.

The study indicates Kenya’s medical travel risk as “rapidly developing variable risk”, while neighbouring Uganda was deemed high risk.

Kenya’s medical risk status means there is a wide difference between the high quality medical care available in cities and what is generally available throughout the rest of the country.

The company said the ratings are based on the current threat posed to travellers and expatriates from factors including political violence, social unrest and crime.

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