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November 17, 2018

Hoteliers fear tourists may sue for beach harassment

Tourist relaxing at turtle bay hotel in watamu,malindi on January 17 - Photo / JOHN CHESOLI
Tourist relaxing at turtle bay hotel in watamu,malindi on January 17 - Photo / JOHN CHESOLI

Hoteliers on the North Coast are worried that they could be forced to compensate tourists who are harassed and their holidays spoilt by beach operators.

In Italy, a couple sued a tour company for a honeymoon trip to the Maldives ‘spoilt’ by a large insect in their room.

A court recently ruled that the tourists had to be compensated by the tour company, 10 per cent of the package cost.

Many Italians visit Malindi and most tour operators are Italians. The beach is beset by beach operators who harass tourists, selling curios, safaris, camel rides, boat trips and sex.

What if back in Italy they go to court and sue the tour operator saying their holiday was ruined?

Jacaranda Beach Resort marketing manager Pietro Marsella yesterday said that in their area one touristcould be surrounded by more than 10 beach operators, all seeking his or her attention.

He said beach operators are on the look out for new arrivals and decend in large numbers on the beaches.

Speaking at the resort yesterday, Marsella said the government has failed to control and regulate beach so they do not pester holidaymakers.

He said some of the tourists don’t mind but others want privacy.

“There was a case in Italy, where it was ruled that tourists be compensated ... This might befall us too,” Marsella said.

During the low season, the Kilifi Tourism department trained beach operators in etiquette and the need to give visitors space.

Marsella said the training had no impact since operators are flooding the beach and hawkers are selling wares everywhere.

He said beach operators need specific zones of operation where tourists can go to buy their wares or seek services.

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