Politics regardless has #Kenya’s tourism sector shown sustained growth


(Posted 05th January 2018)

Statistics just released suggest that Kenya’s tourism industry during the first ten months of last year grew by 7.8 percent on a year on year basis. While the rise in visitor numbers during the first six months of the year was in the two digit ranks, indicating that the prolonged election season took some toll, is a rise by 7.8 percent nevertheless a good result. Full year results are only expected by March this year and will of course be published here at the time.
Meanwhile did the data also show interesting market trends where of key source countries only India, the third largest source country for visitors to Kenya, showed a negative growth. Kenya’s largest ‘producer’, the United States, showed an increase of 16.3 percent, overtaking the UK in real terms as well as in percentage terms. The UK, now the second largest source country, showed a growth of just over 7 percent
China too recorded a double digit growth with a 14.1 percent rise in visitor numbers, notably many of whom came specifically for tourism purposes.
Uganda remains Kenya’s fourth largest source market for visitors and compared to a year ago during the same period of time, also showed a growth of 7.2 percent. Tanzania in contrast, political differences notwithstanding, saw her visitor numbers to Kenya grow by an amazing 25 percent, while in return Kenyans travelled to Tanzania in record numbers too, defying politicians who dwell in the past rather than in the present.

The source providing the data also pointed out that while Nigeria’s arrival figures to Kenya declined during the period of review, will the ongoing campaign to market the country and court Nigerian visitors – supported by national airline Kenya Airways – get a boost now that arriving Nigerians can get Visa on arrival without preconditions such as regular diplomatic reciprocity.
That will allow even Nigerians in transit to their final destination with Kenya Airways to stop over for a day or a few in Nairobi and explore the country’s tourism attractions before flying on.

Tourism stakeholders like Mohammed Hersi, Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation and Group CEO of Sun Africa Hotels in Kenya, have equally expressed their confidence that 2018 will see tourism make a further comeback, albeit paired with warnings to politicians to relocate their differences from the streets to parliament and keep them there.
County governments too were called upon to keep the cities like Nairobi and Mombasa clean to give a good impression to arriving tourists while in particular the hospitality industry needs to modernize and upgrade services to stay competitive in international terms.

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