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Kenya’s Tourism Minister speaks out on horrific siege

September 24, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Following the weekend’s appalling massacre and siege at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, Kenya’s Tourism Minister, Phyllis Kandie, has issued a statement.

As she points out, two important events for Kenya, the Africa Hotel and Investment Forum and the Eco tourism and sustainable tourism conference, are scheduled to start today, even as Kenyan forces continue their battle to kill or capture the fanatics whose killing rampage at the mall over the weekend has horrified the world.

Amid developments yesterday, it emerged that an Australian man and his wife were among the dead at the mall, killed by a gang of Islamist gunmen linked to al-Qaeda. FIA-250x250

Tasmanian-born architect Ross Langdon was killed alongside his eight-month pregnant, Netherlands-born partner, Elif Yavuz, the Australian newspaper disclosed. 

And the New York Times has reported that Kenya’s currency is sliding, “raising fears that the attack will have devastating consequences on the economy, which is fuelled by tourism and outside investment and is vulnerable to swings in perception”.

Kenya is highly dependent on tourism and President Uhuru Kenyatta has implored foreign governments not to issue travel advisories against Kenya. The relentless television and mainstream media coverage of the massacre, however, is likely to damage tourism more than any advisories. In the end, tourists make up their own minds. Governments are obliged to act to protect their citizens, and tourism advisories (issued by many governments, including Australia’s) are part of that process.


The statement by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, East African Community (EAC) Affairs, Commerce And Tourism, Phyllis Kandie: 

The tourism sector joins other Kenyans in condoling the bereaved families including those of foreigners, who have lost their lives during the Westgate attack.

The attack was a despicable act of cowardice intended to instil fear among Kenyans and our visitors, but the attackers must never be allowed to have their way and this event will not cow Kenya from fighting all acts of terrorism.

We are hereby therefore affirming that activities continue as normal in all other parts of the country despite this grave and enormous challenge.


We wish to assure tourists that our security agencies are doing everything possible to ensure security levels and procedures are maintained and heightened in the aftermath of these events. The safety and security of our people and visitors is our paramount priority.

Tour operators and travel agents have confirmed that tourism activities around Kenya continue uninterrupted, and the government has also scaled up security in public places across the country.

Consequently we are extending 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.

Finally, as we thank our international partners for their support and words of encouragement during this difficult time, we appeal to them not to issue travel advisories to their citizens and consider this an isolated incident, which has been brought under control.

Mrs Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary, EAC Affairs, Commerce and Tourism


Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Cam Brett says:

    The way to beat terrorism acts like this is to not change our behaviour – or even better we all should visit Kenya as a sign of solidarity.

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