Tourism Industry reacts to US advisory
The Coast Tourism Industry fraternity has reacted angrily to the latest US travel advisory warning its citizens of possible danger and violence over the outcome of the presidential election petition going on at the Supreme Court.
Speaking in Mombasa yesterday under the aegis of the giant Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch termed the US Government’s latest move as reckless, irresponsible and very insensitive to Kenyans.
“The US has always been expecting negative outcomes of the Kenyan situation . We want to tell the Obama-led administration that elections were well and peacefully conducted . We shall come out victorious as one nation irrespective of the outcome of the election petition expected by Saturday,’’ Kahc Coast Branch Executive Officer, Sam Ikwaye said. In its latest advisory, the US administration tells its citizens to avoid gatherings and demonstrations as the ruling of the petition is likely to be issued on Easter weekend.
“The decision may be announced during the Easter holiday weekend, at a time when many people go out of town. There could be a strong public reaction to the announcement, therefore the US Embassy strongly urges all its citizens to avoid gatherings, demonstrations, downtown business areas, slums and large crowds,’’ the advisory states. Ikwaye said the tourism industry is coming to a low season and hoteliers only expect to reap over the Easter festive season.
“We urge for peace and prosperity. Elections come and go and so will be the petition,’’ he added. Ikwaye said that it is foolhardy for the US to scorn at Kenya yet they were part of a team of broad international election observers who gave the whole exercise a thumbs up and in particular congratulated the people of Kenya for upholding peace during the election period.
“Kenya is undergoing a transition period .Let the US Government give us a big break and stop behaving like they are the world police. We shall only be comfortable with partners who understand our predicaments and problems by and large,’’ Ikwaye appealed to the travelling world to consider coming to Kenya for holiday and sample what magical Kenya has to offer. Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club and Resort General Manager Gomeri Kombo told off the US with their travel warnings. “Kenya is a sovereign State governed by its own set of rules. We shall never be cowered into submission by people pretending to be with us but take advantage of situations that prevail to deny us space to thrive,’’ Mr Kombo said.