Kenya’s tourism earnings rose 3.9% year to Ksh163.56 billion attributed to an increase in the number of visitors in the country.
“Revenue earned from international tourism in 2019 was Ksh163.5 billion from Ksh 157.3 billion in 2018. The total number of international visitors through all points of entry in 2019 was 2,048,834, a 1.167% increase from 2,025,206 in 2018,” said the Tourism Ministry said on the performance of the sector in 2019.
However, the sector’s growth was affected by the DusitD2 attack in January, lower budget allocation, and the overall global decline in tourism observed globally.
“The year started in 2019 with a Dusit attack but again the perception has not gone that is why the growth and the fear was real, the second problem we had was the reduced budget by the Ministry of Treasury and finally the slow down in the global economy, uncertainty of Brexit, and China woes with US,” said the Cabinet Secretary Tourism Najib Balala while presenting the sector’s outlook of 2019.
Going forward, the ministry said air connectivity will remain to be a major driver for the growth of international arrivals, evident through the noted increase in arrivals through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport in Mombasa which recorded 6.07% and 8.56% respectively.
Local tourism activities amounted to 4.9 million bed nights, a 10.4% growth from 4.48 million bed nights last year.
USA, Uganda, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, India, China, Germany France, Italy, and South Africa are the top ten sources of tourists. The U.S numbers increased by 23.501% from 247,530 in 2018 to 305,701 in 2019.