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Many high-end operators have seen just a 30 to 40 percent decrease in bookings for the next high season (July through September). "We have rescheduled one group, but we haven't lost a single booking," said Mahen Sanghrajka, president of Big Five Tours and Expeditions.

Famous for their cheer and resilience, Kenyans survived a similarly devastating economic downturn in the late 1990s. At the time Kenya favored a tourism model that emphasized big groups and big resorts, prompting complaints similar to those heard prior to the current uprising. But in 1997 ethnic clashes emptied the mega-resorts along the beaches, and in 1998 al Qaeda terrorists blew up the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, crushing the tourist economy.

"That marked the end of the traditional tourism model in Kenya," said Western. "I think this conflict will similarly refocus the infrastructure away from minibus safaris and toward community wildlife areas and small groups of discerning travelers. The future of the industry—in both the short and long term—is dependent on a close relationship between guides and their clients."

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  • This article is very informatic and im very pleased that ive used it for my kenya project. thankyou …
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