MOSCOW, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — Kenya wants to increase the tourist flow from Russia up to 100,000 by the year 2015, now that the two countries have direct air service, Kenyan ambassador to Moscow Paul Kurgat told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
Until recently, Kenyan destinations were not very popular among Russians because there had been no direct flights to this distant country from Russia, he said. Now the situation has changed, he noted, and Kenya is optimistic about the future.
Flights from Moscow to the Kenyan second largest city of Mombasa are performed by a Russian airline once in 11 days. The first flight was made in early November to take more than 180 people to Kenya.
Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry and attracts more than a million foreign tourists a year as a vacationing destination.
However, there were few Russians among vacationers, the Kenyan ambassador noted. Thus, only 5,500 Russians visited Kenya in 2010, but the figure was still 64 percent bigger than in 2009.
“We target to reach a figure of 100,000 by 2015,” he said and added that for these ends the Kenyan embassy conducts various promotion and advertising campaigns, offers its assistance to travel companies and takes part in sectoral exhibitions.
The bulk of tourists, both from Europe and from the United States, opt to come to Kenya for Christmas holidays to enjoy a piece of sunny summer amidst winter time.
Along with indulging in beach vacations, the ambassador recommended to go on a safari to admire the wonderful African fauna – lions, elephants, buffalos, giraffes and other wild animals inhabiting numerous wildlife reserves.
He also said there are no grounds to be worried about personal security, since local law enforcement agencies are sparing no effort to protect foreigners at all key tourist destinations, from Mombasa to the Masai Mara National Reserve and Lake Victoria.
He welcomed Russians to visit the country and pledged that the visa issuing procedures would not take long.