Kenya coast tourist numbers fall on Islamist security fears

By REUTERS
October 12, 2012 18:58

 
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MOMBASA - The number of tourists visiting Kenya's coast fell by 22 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to 2011 due to concerns over Islamist violence and the cost of landing rights in the traditional tourist hot spot, tour operators said.

Alongside tea and horticulture, tourism is one of Kenya's major foreign currency earners and raked in 98 billion shillings ($1.18 billion) last year, just shy of its 100 billion shilling target, and up from 74 billion shillings in 2010.

But officials said on Friday that the number of tourists arriving in Mombasa, the gateway to the Indian Ocean coast, had dropped to 121,472 between January and August this year, compared to 156,521 in the same period last year.

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