Kenya holiday flight ban extendedForeign Offices advises only essential travel

17 January 2008

Elephants by a river

Addo Elephant National Park

UK major tour operators have extended the ban on holidays to Kenya to include all charter flights up to and including next Monday.

The decision by the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) has come as the Foreign Office (FO) continues to advise against all but essential travel to Kenya.

More than 600 people have died in post-election violence in the eastern African country and there is no sign of the unrest ending soon, with opposition-led protests planned and the Government determined to ban such demonstrations.

Alternative holidays

Some Britons are still touring Kenya as scheduled services operated by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways are continuing to the strife-torn country.

Harrow-based travel company Somak, which is the largest of the independent tour operators to Kenya, said it has been busy arranging alternative holidays.

A Somak spokeswoman said: 'We have quickly brought out a new India brochure but we are hopeful that people will still want to go to Kenya and will flock back once the situation improves.'

Foreign Office advice

The FTO had hoped that the trouble would ease enough for the FO to amend its travel advice.

As it is, Kenya is missing out on one of its busiest times of the year for tourism from the UK, while British holiday companies are having to refund money to those clients for whom it is not possible to find an alternative break.

The big winners from the Kenya troubles are other long-haul destinations, particularly those offering the sort of wildlife packages for which Kenya is famous.

Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa are among countries all likely to benefit from any long-term Kenya holiday ban.

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