The Star (Nairobi)

4 January 2013

Kenya: Italian Billionaire Praying for Peacefull Elections

Italian billionaire and international investor Flavio Briatore has urged Kenyans to conduct peaceful elections for the sake of the tourism sector.

The Formula One former boss who is putting up a Sh500 million resort near the Malindi Marine National Park warned that violence could have negative repercussions and tarnish the image of the industry again.

The tourism sector was greatly affected by the 2007-08 post-election violence. Speaking to journalists at the new Billionaire's Club and Restaurant during new year celebrations, Briatore said he was forced to close his Lion In The Sun Resort for six months after the 2007-8 PEV making huge losses.

"We pray that Kenyans shall conduct a peaceful elections this year, it will help to maintain the tourism industry which is currently doing well," he added.

Briatore said a repeat of the violence will affect the locals in terms of employment and investors who inject money to set up huge investments.

Currently, he said, the new Billionaire's Resort which is in its final stages stopped for festive season but the contractor will resume on January 7 to complete the project by end of February.

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