UK lifts Lamu, Manda Island travel advisories

By O’brien Kimani

The United Kingdom has lifted travel restrictions to Lamu and Manda island giving a major boost to the struggling hospitality industry at the coast.

In a statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth office says it no longer advised against travel to Lamu and Manda Islands.

The statement has further urged UK citizens travelling to these two islands to consider using air as opposed to road transport.

Kenya’s tourism industry has in the recent past suffered as a result of deadly attacks by Somalia based ragtag militia Al Shabaab.

Kenya was hardest hit in 2012 following attacks and kidnappings in the tourist havens of Lamu.

Many western nations imposed travel restrictions to the Coast dealing a major blow to the region which is close to 70 percent reliant on the tourism industry.

This saw arrivals to Lamu and Manda Islands drop by close to 60 percent as Europe contributes more than 70 percent of all foreign visitors to the archipelago.

This has brought the economy of the region to her knees leading to the closure of hotels and businesses.

However Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office reviewed its travel restriction to Kenya, saying tourists from the UK should now be able to travel safely to Lamu and Manda Island.

The news will be very welcome to Lamu hoteliers and tour operators who have suffered from a decline in arrivals since the advisories were imposed.