Kenya Tourist Board seeks funding boost after violence

The Kenya Tourist Board says it has no plans to run down its UK marketing programme in the wake of the violence that has swept the nation.

The body also says it is hoping for additional funding to help stimulate tourism following the political unrest, and is seeking partners among airlines and tour operators.

The tourist organisation has not run a significant New Year campaign, but promotions in the Sunday Times and travel magazine Wanderlust have been unaffected by the violence that erupted in parts of the east African nation following elections that returned president Mwai Kibaki to power in December.

Jonathan Sloane, spokes-man for the Kenya Tourist Board, says: “Our next budgetary year begins in July and we may get a contingency budget to stimulate the market. We will be looking to work with tour operator and airline partners.

“We view this as a short-term issue and we are hoping that the Foreign Office advisory warning will be lifted next week.”

But the Federation of Tour Operators has suspended holidays to Kenya until Friday after UK Government warnings. It says alternative holidays or refunds will be offered.

Tourism to Kenya has flourished over the past five years and visitor numbers from the UK in 2007 are expected to reach 200,000.

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