Mall Attack threatens the tourism industry in Kenya

The deadliest terrorist attack in the last 15 years which happened in shopping mall in Kenya is threatening the tourism industry, which is the second-largest source of revenue for the African country. Various tourist attraction in Kenya attracts more than 1,8 million tourists every year who contribute 10% of the GDP of the country.

The four-day terrorist attack in the capital Nairobi left dead at least 67 visitors and security personnel.  “Some of the images that have come out of Kenya are really harrowing and it’s going to affect the perceptions in quite a negative way,” Shilan Shah, an economist at Capital Economics in London, said in a phone interview yesterday.

“The length of time it went on, the live coverage, the severity of the attack; it’s definitely affecting perceptions.” The attack is one of the series of setbacks which the Kenyan hospitality sector is facing during the current year as s visitors held back on trips before elections in March and after a fire at the country’s main airport in Nairobi in August gutted the international arrivals hall.

Despite the fact that the tourism industry suffered a pullback, the country’s economy has proven itself as very resilient and should be able to pull back. Those investors who are mainly looking for the long term perspective will not be scared by the attack.

In spite of the attack, for example, The Kenyan shilling has strengthened 1.6 per cent against the dollar since the shopping mall attack and was trading as high as 85.60 in Nairobi today. The FTSE Kenya NSE 25 Index has climbed 4.6 per cent to 172.26 in the same period.

Image Source: Flickr


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