Kenya’s tourist arrivals surged 91 per cent between January and August compared to a similar period in 2021, Najib Balala, the cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said Friday.
During the period, Kenya received 924,812 international visitors in the first eight months compared to 483,240 arrivals in the same period in 2021.
“Kenya’s tourism sector is experiencing a recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained in most of our key source markets and international travellers are now fully confident to travel,” Balala said.
Data from the Tourism Research Institute (TRI), showed that inbound tourism earnings between January and August grew to 167 billion shillings compared to 691 million dollars during the same period in 2021.
Out of the 924,812 international arrivals, 313,466 were on holiday, 274,722 travelled to visit families or friends, 258,889 for business and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), and 43,883 on transit, with the rest coming in for other purposes including education, religion, and sports.
The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport recorded the highest arrivals at 681,811 which was an increase compared to 355,781 visitors who came into the country in eight months last year.
Arrivals through the Moi International Airport (Mombasa) totalled 40,355 up from 26,843. Arrivals through other points of entry, including cross-border, totalled 202,646.
The ministry projects that total arrivals in 2022 will reach 1.4 million.
This is up from 870, 467 recorded in the full year 2021, which was a growth from 567. 848 arrivals in 2020.
Earnings are expected to grow to KSh265.4 billion up from KSh146.5 billion recorded in the full year of 2021.
“The year 2023 to 2024 will be for recovery,” Balala said, though pointed out that inflationary factors could impact spending and travel decisions.