Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interrogating Travel Advisories

The government’s opposition to the latest travel advisory issued against Kenya by the U.S. government is not absurd as some people think. Kenya’s protestation that travel advisories are sabotaging our economy by undermining the fragile yet crucial tourism industry is valid. Sure, it is common practise these days for developed countries to issue travel advisories but just how they go about issuing travel advisories is a matter that requires interrogation.

The troublesome fact about travel advisories is that they have the net effect of instituting an unintended 'trade embargo' and we all know the stigma associated with an embargo. Our tourism sector produces high quality products and services that are renowned worldwide and when a travel advisory is put in place, our foreign clients are scared into staying away or visiting alternative destinations despite the fact that we have spent enormous sums of money marketing our tourist products in the diaspora. Whereas they do not expressly ban trade, they do however discourage trade by scaring clients away.