May 26, 2004

The U.S. State Department has re-released a warning for U.S. citizens traveling to Kenya. The new warning cautions Americans to "evaluate their personal security situation in light of the current terrorist threat." The previous warning of Sept. 23, 2003, used stronger language that "cautioned U.S. citizens against nonessential travel" to the East African nation. The Kenya Tourist Federation, a consortium of travel suppliers, has welcomed the decision, according KTF Travel Advisory committee chair John Glen. "This is a significant step in the right direction. Obviously we shall continue to press for the complete lifting on the warning, but in the present circumstances, this is a considerable step forward," Glen told M&C yesterday. He added the softer warning was having an immediate positive impact on confirmations of bookings by U.S. meeting and incentive groups.

The British capital will have up to 19,000 new hotel rooms by 2008, according to Visit London's new London Hotel Development Monitor, which provides an overview of proposed and confirmed hotel developments across London. Presently, 11,500 rooms are set to open over the next four years in the capital. An additional 7,786 rooms are likely to be constructed if London's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games is successful. Additionally, Visit London expects the size of hotels opening in the capital to continue to grow. In 2001 and 2002, the average  new hotel development in London was less than 100 rooms. In 2003, the average jumped to 158 rooms. By 2006, Visit London predicts that the average NEW hotel size will be 170 rooms.