In the early half of 1998, there were a number of incidents involving tourists, which greatly contributed to the image of Kenya as an "unsafe" destination. A common denominator in all the incidents was the poor flow of information and/or lack of proper follow-up. In order to safeguard this anomaly, the safety and Communication Centre was created to achieve the following objectives:-
- A countrywide communication network for tourism operatives to report for follow-up and record of any emergencies that may occur (sickness, accident, robbery etc.)
- A tourist emergency command and control centre
- Professional staff to assist tourists with the necessary formalities in case of an incident and provide the necessary follow-up.
- A source of information on prevailing conditions (roads, weather, safety etc.) in any intended destination.
- A co-ordination Centre between the tourism industry and relevant organizations/bodies including Police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Flying Doctors/AMREF etc.
- A monitoring unit for reported and non-reported incidents involving tourism.
The Centre is currently operating on a high Frequency (HF) radio network on three dedicated emergency frequencies namely:- 10650 kHz (USB), 5853 kHz (LSB). We also have a 'Tourist Helpline - 6004767 or 020 2679838', which is dedicated to receiving emergency and incident calls. Two mobile numbers, 0738617499 and 0722745645 further enhance this capability. The Operations Control Room is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by qualified personnel. We do have a secondary base station in Mombasa manned 24 hrs and currently housed by Southerncross Safaris MSA and their contacts are 041 475074, 473533,474950 alternatively one can contact our coast security officer Mr. M Muriithi on 0722745644.
- The centres, since its inception has dealt with 200 direct tourist related incidents and 80 indirect tourist related incidents.
- In court, we have followed up conclusions of 12 cases and are monitoring 4 cases.
- The centre offers a factual and well researched source of information on tourist related incidents that are further forwarded to the Kenya Tourist Board for PR control that will lead to more relevant travel advisories being issued.
- The centre has established key relations with diplomatic staff of the main tourist source markets
- The centre enjoys positive working relations with the security arms of the government.
- The industry has a credible source of safety information that lead to informed decisions