The new FCO Travel Advisory is both punitive & counter productive

Today 27th March 2015 , the UK Foreign Office issued a fresh advisory affecting most part of Kenya coast as follows. “Latest update: Summary – the FCO now advise against all but essential travel to within 15km of the coast from the Tana River down to and including Tiwi; this area includes Mombasa Island, Moi International Airport (including transit through the airport), Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu”  . As a resident of Mombasa, Kenya coast and a tourism player I find this latest advisory as punitive , unfair and highly regrettable.

The UK FCO issued the first non-essential travel advise on Mombasa way back in May 2014 and in 4 weeks we will be marking one year mark since that decision was made. Even international organisations based in Nairobi and the region are not allowed to book their trips to Mombasa nor hold meetings at the coast.  The effects have been terrible on hotels and resorts along the entire Kenya coast. Close to 20,000 employees have lost their jobs while multi million investments are looking at gloomy future. We respect and appreciate that they have a duty to their citizens but they also need to remember that friendly nations must work together to deal with terror threats. The historic ties between UK & Kenya go way back and we expect far better treatment when it comes to such matters.Let us not sugar coat the impact of non essential travel, It is nothing short of economic embargo  and it is devastating.


A truly friendly nation will not ask its citizens to keep off but ask them to exercise caution while helping the affected country to deal with any security threat. It is ironic that after the Paris attack the entire EU descended on Paris to stand with the French as a sign of solidarity. It takes you and I with other Kenyans and any other friendly nation to stand up and support us. I also know very many British visitors who have ignored the non-essential travel advise to continue visiting the Kenya coast. The economy of the coast region is in dire straits due to these long ban, if anything it is now having a counter effect. We have many youths who are jobless and are now even more prone to be recruited by terror groups not to mention robberies and petty crimes. For tourism and Kenya coast to do well we must get this advisory lifted all together , extending it was the least expected as we head into the Easter holidays.

I want to assure everyone that security has been beefed up tremendously hence the calm since December 2014. If you had plans to visit Mombasa & Kenya coast please do not hesitate to confirm your flights and resort booking.

Mohammed Hersi


Kenya Coast Tourism Association

CEO Heritage Hotels

17 responses to “The new FCO Travel Advisory is both punitive & counter productive”

  1. Very sad indeed. It’s heartbreaking to see the effects of the travel advisory in Kenya. I sincerely hope it will be lifted soon. Kenya just don’t deserve this.


    1. Thx for empathising . I have seen thousands of employees go home some amazing warm friendly people . It breaks my heart to see young people looking forward to a fulfilling tourism career come to an abrupt end.UK has a duty to protect its citizens but at the end of the day they should be kind enough to help Kenya address the terror threat besides the historic ties go beyond centuries .


  2. It is unfortunate but as a Kenyan I see this to be directly linked to the fact that Kenya decided not to renew the British Military training contract in Nanyuki. Which was going to happen because the johnies have been misbehaving a lot. Bar brawls, female violence etc.

    Secondly, I see a lot of British citizens in Mombasa despite these warnings. It tells you that the citizenry is not stupid. They can see politics at play.

    It’s time to source tourists from other markets. We can survive without them.

    In Kenya we never say die.


  3. Preposterous!
    South Africa has a murder rate of over 16,000 per year and is ranked 11th worst in the world.
    Ironically it also hosts over 500,000 tourists a year from Britain.
    Kenya’s murder rate is 2,500 per year and is ranked 97th in the world and those bureaucratic arseholes sitting in Whitehall tell their citizens not to go to Kenya!
    The only British deaths from terrorism in Kenya was from an attack believed to involve Samantha Lewthwaite, a British citizen!

    For the time it has taken me to write this post 10 people have been either murdered assaulted or raped in South Africa.
    Incidentally USA is well up there with 16,000 per year also.
    Who do they think they are kidding.
    It’s politics and nothing more!


    1. elsie jamieson avatar
      elsie jamieson

      I agree


    2. elsie jamieson avatar
      elsie jamieson

      Ur rite


  4. As British person living in Watamu for the last 11 years I am appalled and deeply disappointed in this decision. We work with local communities and are doing our best on the ground to promote Watamu and indeed the Kenya coast generally as a destination. This decision will have a further devastating effect on the lives of local people. We can only speculate of the reasons behind this, and we will perhaps never know. No matter – one thing Kenya has taught me and that is to be resistant and inventive. We will continue to promote the coast and it’s people a on social media, from in our websites, and through progressive new initiatives such as Malindi Watamu Tourism Association working with KTB, KG, KATO KAHC. And I for one will be at the MalindiWatamu food festival this Easter with my colleagues from Watamu Marine Association. We will keep on keeping on.


    1. Dear Jane,
      Thanks for finding time to read my post. Firstly thank you for giving your tiMr and energy not to mention money to help the Watamu locals. I honestly do not know why the FCO have been very harsh on Kenya coast but again let us not give us. I am also leading many lobby trips to engage both our Kenyan authorities and UK on same. Regards


      1. Excellent work Mohammed. Yes we support home eco tourism initiatives not financial hand outs. You are welcome to visit us any time in Watamu


  5. I am so sorry this happened. I am from England and visit Kenya every year as we love the Kenyan people and Kenya. We will continue to visit and I urge all British people to do the same. I hope this latest advice is lifted and the sooner the better


    1. Dear Sue ,
      Thanks for reading my post and taking time to post your comment. Thanks for the support aand we all hope that it will soon be lifted all together. Please note that we now also have the inbound Insurance cover for anyone from UK planning to visit Kenya coast .


  6. James Robertson avatar
    James Robertson

    I visit Watamu 2 or 3 times a year, indeed I am thinking of retiring there. I have been doing so for 20 years ind in that time have never felt threatened or in any way unsafe. Be sure Mohammed that the British people that know Kenya will continue to try and sway the opinion of anyone who will listen against this unfair appraisal of the Kenya Coast.


    1. Dear James, thanks for taking time to read my post . It is true freinds like you who will help us in changing the perception about Kenya coast . I intend to start a youtube channel where real travellers can post their experience and encourage others to choose Kenya coast . Please keep in touch .




    2. elsie jamieson avatar
      elsie jamieson

      Same here I have been goin 2 watamu 4 20 hears n I always feel safe. I tell all my friends 2 still go 2 kenya .I will never stop goin 2 kenya no matter wat fco say


  7. I have sent an email to FCO to ask WHY they issued this new travel advisory – awaiting reply. If others would like to bombard them with emails here is their address :
    By Email:
    Twitter: Questions to @FCOtravel are answered 9am – 6pm BST, Monday – Friday.


    1. Thanks, true we should


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