I was there over two elections… after the violence of the first one I sat on a bench at one of the biggest nicest hotels at the coast (Sarova Whitesands) and there were a handful of guests. I was doing my Divemaster Internship and there were no “students” to practice on. People at the hotels and in the tourist industry were laid off… and that loss of income is felt by the whole community. It was desperately desperately sad
Fast forward to Saturday, 21 September 2013 and I’m working in Westlands, Nairobi. That Saturday I suggest a shopping trip to my wife. But we decide there’s nothing we need. The place I usually go to and hang out for coffee and groceries is Westgate Mall.
Tourism has not recovered YET. But it will. Internal tourism is keeping things going… limping along… along with a few tourists flying in. Although some will just use it as a stopping off point.
I want to share the beauty of Kenya with my friends and family. My son was born there. I will talk about the diving there to anyone who doesn’t avoid me because they’ve heard I am a scuba diving in Kenya bore!
Najib Balala has his work cut out! But I hope the industry recovers soon.