Information was confirmed yesterday that Belgium’s Jetair will halt their charter operation to Mombasa come April and will not resume operations later in the year. Passengers from Belgium will then have to travel to neighbouring Holland and use flights by TUI Holland – Jetair is part of the TUI Group – causing major inconvenience and very likely resulting in a drop of passengers from Belgium as a result.
A Mombasa based source added that special promotions are now underway to fill seats on the charter for arrivals in March but the withdrawal of the charter before the Easter holiday will be another blow to Destination Mombasa.
Coast tourism stakeholders have been consulting behind the scenes and it is understood that a presentation has been made at the end of last year to the government in Nairobi, outlining urgently needed countermeasures and candidly describing the current circumstances and the potential fallout for primary and secondary jobs at the Kenya coast, should no action be taken to blitz existing, emerging and new markets with a recovery marketing campaign.
Said a regular contributor when breaking the news to him: ‘I am no longer sure I want to answer your calls or read your mails because increasingly you come up with bad news for coast tourism. We have some really great resorts, we have marine national parks, Shimba Hills and Tsavo East and West, the Taita Hills Sanctuary literally just hours away from the beach and we should focus on our competitive strengths compared with other destinations. All we hear is that Kenya is de-campaigned abroad and we should reverse the trend and showcase ourselves better. You said yourself in an article sometime late last year that Kenya still got what it takes, so why are we then losing so much traffic?’
A fair question that is but until and unless the Kenyan government now acts on the submissions it was handed, and funds KTB to allow for such a major recovery marketing blitz focusing on the coast, it will get a lot worse before it is getting better again. Visit http://www.magicalkenya.com for more information on Destination Kenya and also look up http://www.mcta321.blogspot.com where a host of details can be found about tourism attractions and facilities along the Kenya coast.
Source: Wolfgang H Thome