July 22, 2019 / Kangethe Ngure.
Kenya Tourism sector has been on a steady increase for the last few years. The contributing factors are among other things increase in international arrivals and domestic tourism.
International tourism grew by 37.33% in 2018 compared to 2017 thus Kenya recorded one of the best years in tourism history. A lot of Marketing in international forums lead to the good increase in international arrivals.
Domestic Tourism also increased by 9.03% in 2018 as compared to 2017. Kenyans have also started appreciating their Country and with increase in disposable income for the middle class population, the culture of traveling especially during public holidays and weekend is on the increase.
Political stability, improved security, accessibility and growth in aviation industry with new routes, withdrawal of travel advisory by some of the major source market, visit by prominent personalities has also increased confidence in travelers to Kenya all this factor have combined favorably to improve the tourism industry in Kenya.
Kenya also has some of the most amazing destination in the world like Masai Mara, beautiful beaches and an amazing array of world class hotel and lodges that have won in international travel award arena. Apart from the rich flora and fauna, Kenya also offers a rich diversity of cultural experience from a thriving urban live to the most interesting cultures co-existing side by side. The country also has diverse landscapes from Coastal lowland region, Central highlands, to deserts in the northern part of Kenya thus offering various climatic conditions in one package.
For 2019 the tourism numbers have been good so far when we compare the half year performance year to date. Total international arrivals for January 2019 by air closed at 88,705 compared to 76,649 in 2018, illustrating an increase of 15.7%. Holiday is the major reason of travel into Kenya in January, taking a share of 69.15% of the total arrivals in the period. Business and conference contributed 13.2% of the arrivals. Business and Conference numbers closed at 11,684 up from 7,374 indicating a growth of 58.4%. VFR contributed 7.6% of the arrivals closing at 6,704 up from 4,907 in 2018. Other Purposes of Entry (Medical, On Transit, Volunteerism, Sports, Study and Not Stated) contributed 10.1% of the total arrival closing at 8,975.
In terms of share of arrivals, USA maintains its first position, contributing 12.9% followed by Italy with 12.0%. UK is in 3rd with a share of 9.5%, followed by Germany with 7.2%. India is 5th with 5.3% and China also makes the top 6 list with a contribution of 4.5% to the total arrivals in 2019.
Author is a Director at Safe Drive Tours and Travel ltd