Kenya Tourism Board Australia (KTB) is greatly saddened by the tragic incident which took place in Garissa on Thursday 2 April, 2015 and encourages visitors to remain committed to Kenya as a holiday destination.
KTB spokesperson, Sarah Anderson said Garissa is located in a remote area of Kenya, 150km from the Somalia boarder and is not an area frequented by tourists. Previous travel advice issued by the Australian Government and KTB also advised against any travel to Garissa.
“This very sad situation occurred in an isolated area, 370km from the capital city Nairobi and far from any tourist centres and national parks that are popular with Australian visitors,” Ms Anderson said.
“Kenya is the best safari destination in the world with drawcards like the Maasai Mara remaining unaffected from terror attacks.
“Kenya offers unparalleled game safaris and hospitality, and we encourage Australians to continue with their travel plans and visit this fascinating country.”
Principal Secretary, Ministry of EA Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Dr Ibrahim Mohamed also encouraged international visitors to holiday in Kenya.
“Our concerns now are for those affected by this appalling attack in Garissa and we offer our condolences to the families of those killed and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured in hospital,” Dr Mohamed said.
“To all those visitors here on holiday now, and to those with planned trips in the coming days, we offer our reassurance that tourist destinations remain secure and we urge all visitors and operators to remain calm and continue with your plans. The main tourist areas are unaffected by this incident.”
Secretary-General, UNWTO Mr Taleb Rifai strongly condemned the attack on the Garissa University College.
“On the behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, to the people and the Government of Kenya, I am appalled by this atrocious act of violence on innocent people,” Mr Rifai said.
“Kenya is facing a threat of international nature. We must stand by the Kenyans in these testing times and reinforce our solidarity and commitment to work side by side with them to ensure that violence and terrorism do not win over our values and the will of Kenya to progress and live freely.
“The resilience of the Kenyan people, supported by the solidarity of their friends in the international community, will surely lead the country to overcome this terrible act.
“Despite the aims of the terrorists to damage the image and the economy of Kenya, we are confident that the country will continue to be a preferred destination for people all around the world.”
Garissa is situated 370km from the capital Nairobi, 470km from Mombasa on the south coast, 599km from Maasai Mara and 150km from the Somalia border in east Kenya (refer to maps below).