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Security raises alarm bells for Kenya tourist industry

Monday, April 06, 2015 - 01:45

Kenya's tourism industry braces for more misery after the Islamist gun attack which killed 148 people at a university campus in Garissa. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Images of a bloodbath in Kenya On Monday security officials took news organizations to the Garissa University College campus, the scene of the massacre of at least 148 people by al Shabaab militants. The attack not only raises security fears -- but fears in the country's vital tourism industry. Tourism has already taken a hit in Kenya after al Shabaab stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people in 2013. And now at some of Kenya's resorts in Mombasa, it's a quiet scene. Kenya Tourism Watch Chairman Mohamed Hersi says tourists are scared. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENYA TOURISM WATCH CHAIRMAN, MOHAMED HERSI, SAYING: "The recent attack may not have happened in Mombasa, but happened in Garrisa where we lost many young people, which is very very unfortunate that equally paints the destination in a negative picture." In many cases there just are not enough tourists to support staff. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENYA TOURISM WATCH CHAIRMAN, MOHAMED HERSI, SAYING: "For us to survive in that, many hotels one have sent staff on unpaid leave, some are actually laying off people, others are retrenching and some are actually taking pay cuts." Hotels are already reporting cancellations, but say the true extent of the damage will become clearer Tuesday when European tour operators return from the Easter holiday.

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Security raises alarm bells for Kenya tourist industry

Monday, April 06, 2015 - 01:45