In breaking news it has come to light that the American Embassy in Nairobi has once again prohibited staff of the Embassy and of US government organizations to travel to Mombasa and its environs, as a cancellation made at a leading resort, citing this as a reason, was shared just moments ago.
The source sharing the details was swift in condemning this latest American anti-travel advisory against Kenya by saying: “That much support from our ‘friends!’”
I know many far more dangerous places in the US than on Kenya’s coast.
Other tourism stakeholders immediately contacted professed to know nothing as yet about the directive, which is a repeat of a similar warning last year which came to naught and was quietly withdrawn a week later, but not without doing some serious damage to Mombasa’s reputation and the occupancies of beach resorts that Easter weekend.
“I am no longer surprised. The American administration is notorious about such things, and they were the first to slap Kenya with anti-travel advisories after the Westgate attack, after first professing to be our friends and supporting us. Preventing Americans from traveling to and within Kenya is not a friendly act and will accomplish one of the objectives of the terrorists, to damage our tourism industry, cause the loss of jobs, and create an environment in which radicals can breed with ease,” said another source when confronted with this latest development before adding: “Next week our Magical Kenya Travel Expo will take place in Nairobi and I hope that the majority of our diplomatic missions and of our ever growing expatriate community will come and see what fantastic deals are on offer this year. They can take advantage of packages including airfares and transfers, or just book a resort and drive down to the coast, but abandoning us at this crucial stage is a grave error of judgment. We in Kenya’s tourism industry absolutely resent such advisories and those responsible for making such drastic decisions, you are not our friends, you are as bad an enemy to our country as they come.” Harsh words but understandable considering what is at stake and what impact such measures taken by the American Embassy can ultimately have. Other sources suggested immediately that the Obama administration has clearly issues with Kenya’s leadership, as the snub of visiting Tanzania and not the country of his late father also went to demonstrate, a fact not lost on some who promptly played the China card when hearing of the news. Watch this space for updates on this matter, if any of the other embassies or High Commissions will follow suit and what official reactions will be coming out of Nairobi.