Tourism could take among the longest to bounce back, because it is especially sensitive to perceptions, and the well-publicized bloodshed of the past two months has badly dented Kenya's image. Last year, the country had more than two million tourists. In January, there were only 55,000 new arrivals, well below projections.The message couldn't be more clear: to help save the hippos, giraffes, and hyenas, get planning your Kenya safari. And with agencies slashing rates, its never been more affordable. But is it safe? It's safe enough.. Gettleman writes:
The downturn also threatens to reverse the momentum that Kenya has made in recent years to protect land and animals. Government officials are worried about out-of-work guides and trackers poaching game. Village elders in animal-rich areas who had been persuaded that conservation and tourism would be profitable have been re-examining this equation and considering selling off their land.
Sales mean farms, and farms mean fences, which could block the millions of zebra, wildebeest and antelope that migrate across the famous Masai Mara game reserve each year, possibly endangering one of the most spectacular gatherings of animal life on the planet. "It's absolutely catastrophic," said Calvin Cottar, the owner of an upscale safari camp.
The truth is that most of the violence has subsided and it never really touched the tourist areas, like the Masai Mara.Some risks are worth taking. And governments of rich countries should stop teaching their citizens to behave like scared y-cat ninnies.
But many Western governments seem to think otherwise. Australia is still warning its citizens traveling to Kenya to stay indoors, not exactly the greatest plug for game watching.