The annual summer holiday of local schools is underway in Kenya, but unlike in other years marked by the onset of the Holy Month of Ramadan earlier this week.
Hoteliers along the Kenya coast traditionally bank of domestic travel during the school holidays, when parents take time out and bring their families for a beach side vacation, but this year these expectations have been tuned down with few if any Muslim families travelling on pleasure during this period. Said a regular source from Mombasa yesterday: ‘Ramadan is a month of prayers and cleansing of body and soul. Normally in August we get a lot of visitors from upcountry but our Muslim brethren are not taking time off during this special month. Travel is a pleasure and as such does not conform with Ramadan principles, where no such pleasures are supposed to be enjoyed. When the month ends we expect many of them to travel, before schools start again but not during August. We wish all the Muslim community in Kenya a peaceful Ramadan month’.
Arrivals from Europe and Kenya’s other main markets for tourists are said to be steady though inspite of the economic wobbles and worries caused by the Eurozone crisis and the ‘almost default’ of the American government.
Compiled by Jackie