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Tourism heads into another slump

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Tourism heads into another slump

Remarks from the country's (normally bullish) tourism minister.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/art…

A fall in domestic tourism, which held hopes for rescuing the sector, seems to be adding to the gloom.

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tennessee
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1. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

I have been concerned about that. My friend in Nairobi says the situation is tense. He is getting ready to take his family back to his village for safety. The citizens don't deserve this.

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Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

I just arrived last night in Nairobi and was amazed at the number of tourists that I saw at the airport. I couldn't see any physical evidence of a fall in tourism. The situation is calm at the moment and nobody feels that the country is about to collapse into civil war.

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Mtwapa, Kenya
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3. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

Africanman,

You should come down here to the coast and see the deserted beaches and empty hotels (which is what the article is primarily about), the Safari-via-Nairobi sector has proved fairly resilient over the last few years but other sectors have been decimated, the ripple effect on the wider economic community here on the coast had been devastating.

Before this latest setback the government was predicting growth of tourist numbers of around 16% this year over last but even that would only take the total numbers of arrivals up into the 900,000s. Tourist numbers peaked in 2011 at around 1.75m but they then fell every year until they were down to around 750,000 in 2015, they improved by around 16% in 2016 to around 880,00 and the improvement was expected to continue by about the same amount this year but the extended election period has put a severe dent in that projection. When you see what has happened here at the coast you can only assume that as I said earlier the bulk of those numbers are Nairobi / Safari tourists.

(The Tripadvisor forums are a barometer of this, when I joined 10 or 11 years ago the forum used to go through at least a page often 2 a day. The Mombasa and North Coast forums were as busy if not more so than the Nairobi / Mara, etc forums. There would be a dozen or more questions about Mombasa, Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu,, Kikambala every day, and the odd one for Diani. I would regularly post between 10 and 20 times a day, now there are only a couple of Mombasa / Coast posts a week, and they are usually for Diani or Watamu from people flying over from Nairobi after a safari rather than people flying into Mombasa for a coast based holiday. What used to be the busiest beaches by far hardly feature at all these days)

PS

<<<The situation is calm at the moment and nobody feels that the country is about to collapse into civil war.>>>

It is calm and most people hope there will not be any violence but a lot of people I know are seriously worried about what might happen

Edited: 30 September 2017, 18:36
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4. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

The impact was clearly obvious on the south coast recently. Multiple resorts closed down and deserted in the Diani area. Tour operators such as small boat operators were desperate for work. I signed up for a snorkel tour. The captain said he would previously have a full boat every day as would all the other operators whereas now he is happy to have one passenger and doesn't get customers most days (and he works with a larger resort). There were only a couple other boats out with us and all similarly had only a couple of passengers. Our resort was at max half full. Ol Pejeta (referenced in the article) had many vacant tents and dining room was not full. Even while on safari in Samburu, Mara and Lake Nakuru, the accommodations were not full nor were dining rooms so I can't help but think that they are suffering decreased tourism too. Very sad and concerning for those whose livelihood is dependent on tourism.

Edited: 01 October 2017, 23:01
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5. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

Africanman: perhaps it's time to remove those rose tinted glasses of yours! One snapshot view at Jomo Kenyatta International won't give you any information on the state of tourism, which has been depressed for several years. The fragile recovery has faltered as a result of the current political situation.

The country may not be about to descend into civil war, but everyone I know are reporting that the situation is very tense (I sometimes wonder how many Kenyans you actually know). No one knows what will happen at the end of this month. The country is politically in uncharted territory and the economy is suffering across the board. There is very strong evidence that a constitutional crisis is looming, as the opposition could return to the Supreme Court again and have the election result overthrown again (if there is an opposition loss).

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6. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

Finally, the cause of the decline has been pinpointed by an expert:

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/art…

Gold Coast...
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7. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

Recently stayed in three camps in the Mara, at one [well known] we were the only guests..very sad.

nyc
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8. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

I rarely expect camps to be crowded end-Oct/ into Nov and up to 20th Dec. Doesn't sound all that odd to me. It's shoulder season. There will be tour groups around and those seeking lower rates.

Gold Coast...
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9. Re: Tourism heads into another slump

Hi Sandi.

That is really interesting, we knew it was not peak, but had no idea the numbers would plummet that much going at the start of November! For our three weeks in the parks we were rained on only once, and once in Nairobi, and I would go at that time again for sure.

Even being shoulder, we were still surprised at the low numbers of people and vehicles, it was not what we had expected. We also stayed in two conservancies, and camps there were pretty busy, but like I said had one camp in the park all to ourselves. In the park itself some days we felt like we were the only vehicles around, just seeing two or three others most of the time, big cat sightings with no other vehicles, never even saw the expected mini buses!

For people like us, not particularly interested in crossings, it was great, we had a wonderful time

Edited: 27 November 2017, 21:41
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