Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has condemned international media for portraying Kenya as a country in turmoil.

In a live interview with a local television station, the former ODM Pentagon member said tourists should freely visit the country as security is guaranteed.

“The fact that we had protests in Kibra, Mathare and Kisumu does not mean Kenya is burning,” he said.

Tourism CS Najib Balala. PHOTO–businessdailyafrica.com

“We need calm to prevail. Let’s not lose sight of the gains we have made in the last decade. Kenya has a lot to lose if we make it difficult for tourists and foreign investors to come here. Every Kenyan is obliged to keep peace, ensure a welcoming environment for visitors to grow our economy and create jobs for our people.”

“I request tourism stakeholders to consider offering Kenyan-friendly packages to encourage more people to take advantage of August holiday break to boost our tourism industry.”

He said planned flights to New York City in the US by Kenya Airways provides an opportunity “we are looking to exploit in boosting out market”.

Maasai Mara National Park, he added, currently has a bed occupancy rate of 90 per cent expressing optimism the numbers will hit 100 per cent before close of August.

Violent protests erupted in Nairobi, Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay following IEBC’s declaration that President Uhuru Kenyatta won the August 8 presidential election.

Kenya Red Cross Society reported Monday that 24 people died during the violence. Most of those who died had bullet wounds.