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Europe’s leading tour operator comes knocking at the Coast

COUNTIES
By Philip Mwakio | August 25th 2015
Condor Charter Flights Senior Contract Manager for the Long Haul Division Wolfgang Heinzman (left), is taken on a tour of Diani Reef Beach Resort's beach front by CEO Titus Kangangi on Sunday before he signed a one-year contract with the hotel management. [Photo: Gideon Maundu/Standard]

One of Europe’s leading tour operators, Thomas Cook, has began signing contracts with Coast beach resorts, signaling a rebound in the tourism industry.

The move comes less than a month after three major British tour operators announced their intentions to start booking Kenyan beach resorts beginning next month, many of which were suspended early last year due to terrorist fears in Coast.

Senior Contract Manager in charge of the Long Haul Division Wolfgang Heinzman, said on Sunday that Kenya was still a unique tourist destination with myriad attractions coupled with beaches and safari.

“The country has what it takes to lure more tourists and there cannot be a better time than now when travel restrictions to your destination have been lifted by among others the UK,” Mr Heinzman said.

He spoke after signing a contract agreement with the CEO of Diani Beach Resort & Spa Titus Kangangi at the hotel.

Last month, Kuoni, Somak and First Choice tour operators announced their decision to restart booking the Kenyan coast destination, a move that has elicited hope in the tourism industry.

Hotels reopen

“For the past two years, tourism in this region has been on its knees with very low international arrivals due to travel advisories imposed following terror attacks and insecurity,” Mr Kangangi said.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Association of Hotel keepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch has indicated that several hotels that had closed due to the effects of low season have reopened.

“Some hotels closed as early as January while others shut down soon after Easter, occasioning huge job losses,” Kahc Coast Branch Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye said.

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