Uganda and Tanzania remain Kenya’s top tourist markets after the US.
According to the latest data from the Tourism Research Institute, Kenya received 870,465 tourists last year, up from 567,848 in 2020.The US was the main source market for Kenya with 136,981 tourists, followed by Uganda with 80,067, Tanzania with 74,051 and the UK and India with 53,264 and 42,159 tourists respectively.
Kenya’s tourism sector recorded declines in 2021 53.29% growth following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Revenues increased 34.76% to $1.46 billion versus $885 million in 2020.< p>Holiday makers represented the most arrivals at 299,802 and accounted for 34.44% of all arrivals, followed by family visitors at 257,357 (29.57%).
Business travelers were 229,804 and 46,654 (5.36%) . ) in transit.
About 19,053 visitors (2.19 percent) came to Kenya for educational purposes, and one percent for medical reasons.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala, said arrivals were boosted by hosting the WRC Safari Rally and World Athletics Under-20 in the country.
“We have a strategy for future growth and one of the points is to ensure we grow and modernize the Kenyan aviation industry which is vital for international arrivals,” said Mr. Balala.
He also attributed the growth to increased marketing efforts, Covid containment measures -19 pandemic and innovative products offered by hotels and airlines for domestic and international markets.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport remains the main entry point with 644,194 tourists had Mombasa’s Moi International Airport 48,749, and other entry points contributed to 177,522 visitors.
From January to September 2021, the bed occupancy rate increased to a total of 4,138,821 in 2020 (2,575,812) with a recovery of 60.7 percent compared to the same period .
< p>Covid-19 had a greater impact on the tourism sector as the industry recorded approximately 1.18 million job losses with approximately $1.52 billion in lost labor income.
Of the 1.18 million jobs lost were 295,000 in the accommodation department, 162,000 (food and beverage), 216,000 (passenger transportation), 24,000 (attraction sites) and 486,000 (artefacts).
CS Balala attributed the loss to a minor one Occupancy rates, canceled trips and disruptions to international and domestic travel have caused several hotels to go out of business.
This ongoing hospitality recovery was largely driven by domestic travelers, who increased domestic overnight stays by 101.3% and international overnight stays grew by 0.05%.
CS said the spread of the Delta variant dampened growth in the tourism sector in the first quarter of 2021, but steady growth was expected from June to December 2021
Mr Balala said the country forecasts the number of passenger flight landings to increase from the current 59, 486 in 2020 to 70,193 this year, tourist arrivals from 870,467 to 1.02 million tourists this year year despite various challenges from the parliamentary elections in August.