Kenya’s tourism sector stays on growth path

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Tourism CS Najib Balala on a previous visit to KWS headquarters
Tourism CS Najib Balala on a previous visit to KWS headquarters

The Ministry of Tourism in Kenya has revealed that the tourism sector recorded a double-digit rise in earnings in 2017 to record just under Kshs 120 billion in revenue receipts. This denotes a 20.3% growth in review compared to 2016 when tourism sector earned Ksh. 99.69 billion.

The strong growth in tourism receipts was underpinned by a 9.8% growth in total international arrivals into Kenya by air, sea and cross-border in 2017 to 1,474,671 compared to 1,342,899 arrivals in 2016.

Releasing statistics on the performance of Kenya’s tourism industry in 2017, Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala said that most of Kenya’s source market recorded impressive growth in 2017. “Kenya grew stronger in 2017 as a destination brand following positive visibility and endorsement it received through global accolades such as the world travel awards declaration of Kenya as the world’s best safari destination. This was achieved despite a busy electioneering season that threatened to slow down tourism activities,” Tourism CS Balala said.

Commenting on the performance of Kenya’s tourism industry in 2017, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier said that the launch of the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway coupled with increased air connectivity greatly improved access to tourist attractions.

“KTB continues to market the diversity of Kenya, reinforcing messages of our key attractions and letting the world know that a Kenyan safari does not happen only during the world beast migration into Maasai Mara; it is an all year experience. Kenya offers a warm climate, tempered with cool sea breezes ideal for passive and active relaxation for tourists of all ages,” the KTB CEO said.

The release of the 2017 tourism industry performance report comes against the backdrop of the ongoing implementation of a new tourism masterplan and a tourism market strategy which were developed in 2017.