Ban badly received by hospitality and tourism industries
US Embassy lifts staff travel ban to Mombasa
(eTN) - Information was confirmed yesterday that the US Embassy in Nairobi has lifted the travel ban imposed on all their staff – though that clearly did not affect the allegedly dozens of operatives of shadowy security organizations working the field in the war against terror at the Kenyan coast – which the mission imposed two weeks ago.
The travel ban at the time was badly received by the Kenyan government and by the coast’s hospitality and tourism industry, many of whom compared it with a stab in the back inflicted on them by supposed friends.
The high-profile withdrawal of staff from Kenya’s port city of Mombasa was seen by many as a cowardly act, and the ban overall perceived as an ambush of the highest order, leading to confusion among even overseas holiday operators thrown into a state of panic, as were many Kenyans, of course, at the time.
Not long afterwards, a grenade was thrown into a local bar, similar to a few such incidents in the capital of Nairobi, with no indication, other than the arrest of two alleged Iranian secret agents, that a major terrorist strike was imminent. The two Iranians are now in court facing a number of terror-related charges, and the Kenyan government was swift to cancel a major oil deal with Iran in the days following their arrest, though any direct connection was denied by official sources in Nairobi, which preferred to call the cancellation a compliance with embargo orders from the UN, still clouding relations between the two countries though for what appeared to be an overtly hostile act of aggression.
Occupancies at the Kenya coast remain a mixed bag though, and while a number of top-rated resorts, like the Mombasa Serena and the Sarova Whitesands, report high occupancies, others more dependent on budget holiday makers from the main European core markets are said to be struggling.