22 September 2013

Kenya Is Open to Tourists, Assures Kandie

Nairobi — Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Phyllis Kandie has assured tourists that Kenya is peaceful as the country prepares to host two crucial conferences in Nairobi this week.

This is following a terrorist attack at Westgate mall in Westlands Nairobi that has so far killed 59 people, Left more than 175 people injured and an unknown number of hostages.

Kandie said all tourist facilities across the country were operating normally.

"We are here therefore to affirm that life is going on normally in all parts of the country despite this grave and enormous challenge," she said.

She urged foreign embassies to be understanding and not to issue travel advisories to their citizens and consider this an isolated incident which has been brought under control.

"We extend a hand of welcome to all those arriving from tomorrow to Kenya to attend two critical conferences namely ; Africa Hotel and Investment Forum and the Eco Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference taking place in Nairobi ahead of other upcoming international events to be hosted in the country ," she said.

She thanked international partners for their support and words of encouragement during this difficult time

"It was a despicable act of cowardice intended to instill fear among Kenyans and our visitors, but they must never be allowed to have their way," she said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has also urged the international community not to issue travel advisories pointing out that "this is not the time to ask for travel advisories,"

Former Prime Minister and Leader of Coalition for Reforms and Democracy Raila Odinga also shared the same sentiments.

The prestigious Eco-Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference is supposed to run from September 24 to 27 2013 and is expected to endorse Kenya as an eco-tourism destination.

The country will also host the African Hospitality Investment Forum from September 24 to 25, an endorsement that Kenya is a place for investment in the hospitality industry.

The World Travel Awards (WTA) and Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) are also scheduled to take place in October, geared at profiling Kenya as an event destination.

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