Tourism Safety in Kenya

The Kenya Tourism Federation Safety & Communication Centre (KTF-SCC) was established in 1998, and has since made significant contributions to the drop in reported tourist related incidents in the country.

The SCC disseminates safety and security advice to tourists and tourism operators, and coordinates timely and appropriate response during tourist related incidents anywhere in Kenya.

Through an extensive network of tourism operators, KTF-SCC monitors the security situation in the country with particular emphasis on the tourism circuits, and receives alerts on any security incidents or concerns. Based on the alert, the SCC, through its extensive communication capability, which includes an industry telephone contacts database, HF Radio, email and social media, circulates safety advice to tourism operators, e.g. safe alternative routes, and, through established linkages with the relevant institutions such as Tourist Police Unit, the Department of Tourism, Kenya Wildlife Service and air ambulance service providers, activates timely response where needed, e.g. evacuation of the affected to Hospital or to safety. During elevated risk periods such as elections or reported terrorism incidents, vigilance is heightened with more frequent alerts and advice to safeguard the industry.
Owing to these measures, Kenya is among the countries that record the lowest rates of tourist related incidents.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index Ranking for 2015, Kenya’s safety and security pillar is ranked 131st globally, although the country has a global competitiveness rank of 78th overall and ranks 5th in the Sub-Saharan region.

Although not tourism specific, Numbeo ranks Kenya with a safety Index of 30.51 in its 2016 indices (crime levels lower than 20 are considered to be very low, between 20 and 40 as low, between 40 and 60 as moderate, between 60 and 80 as high and finally crime levels higher than 80 as being very high).

The KTF-SCC states the number of reported tourist related incidents in the first half of 2014 as being just two, a 60% drop compared to a similar period in 2013 when five incidents were reported. Total reported incidents in 2013 stood at seven, a 36.4% drop compared to eleven incidents reported in 2012.

The total number of incidents reported for the four year period from 2010 to 2013 is reported as being 81, a 70% drop compared to the four year period 1999 – 2002 immediately following the establishment of KTF-SCC, when a total of 270 incidents were reported.

To ensure effective monitoring of tourism circuits and to provide timely assistance as the need arises, KTF-SCC is operational 24/7.

KTF-SCC also provides tourists planning to visit the country with useful information regarding requirements for travel to Kenya such as vaccinations required, visa requirements, safety advise e.g. to book with licensed travel operators that have membership with the respective trade associations as these are bound by set codes of ethics& standards.

About KTF-SCC: The Kenya Tourism Federation was formed by the private sector in tourism in Kenya in 1996, and formally became operational in 1998 with the launch of the Safety & Communication Center (KTF-SCC).

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