The number of international tourist arrivals to Kenya in August dropped to 13,894, a 91.4 percent lower than the 161,723 arrivals recorded a similar period last year due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the Tourism Performance, August 2020 report on the number of international arrivals via airports into Kenya and their purposes of visit following the re-opening of the Kenyan airspace, the highest number of arrivals were from the United States and the United Kingdom, coming in at 2,768 and 2,469, respectively, attributed to ease of travel advisories.
Of the total number, 6,368 tourists (45 percent) came to Kenya to visit friends and families after the lockdown. 6,685 of the tourists were in the country for a holiday.
“We attribute the relatively high number of tourist arrivals for leisure to reopening of destination hospitality facilities such as the Maasai Mara and the wildebeest migration that has traditionally resulted in relatively high tourist numbers into the country,” commented Cytonn Investment Analysts.
In the report, 13,239 tourists arrived in the country through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), followed by Moi International Airport with 645, and Wilson Airport at 154. Wajir Airport received one international tourist.
The country’s hospitality sector has been one of the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic owing to its heavy reliance on tourism and the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions, and Conferencing) sectors.
However, Cytonn expects the sector to gradually resume operations supported by the easing of travel restriction in and out of the country, opening up key tourism markets.
In addition to the continued relaxation of travel advisories by governments of the key tourism market, repackaging of the tourism sector’s products to appeal to domestic tourists, and the Ministry of Tourism’s post-corona recovery strategy fund of Kshs 500.0 million which will cushion the sector from the impact of the pandemic.