Hope for tourism sector as international arrivals register growth

June 6, 2016
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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says international arrivals for the period under review hit 263,284 compared to 231, 038 in 2015/FILE
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says international arrivals for the period under review hit 263,284 compared to 231, 038 in 2015/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Kenya’s tourism projects hope as international tourism arrivals for January to April 2016 by air and sea register 14 percent growth but fear faces the sector with the ongoing political protests in the capital.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says international arrivals for the period under review hit 263,284 compared to 231, 038 in 2015.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) arrivals grew by 13.6 percent in the period under review to recorded 229, 594 as compared to 202,071 in 2015.

Moi International Airport Mombasa on the other hand recorded 31,810 visitors compared to 28,967 in 2015 a 9.8 percent growth.

Cruise ship arrivals stood at 1880 in the period under review.

“We are expecting the ongoing trajectory to go on through the year and a full recovery in 2018 however, the tension on the IEBC protest is setting a bad precedence we are now going back to political instability, we are not sending the right signals to the market,” Balala told a news conference in Nairobi.

The sector has suffered a lot of turbulence owing to Insecurity in the country, losing about Sh12.5 billion since 2011 and left over 30, 000 people are unemployed.

In 2015, tourism receipts for 2015 declined by 3 percent to record Sh84.6 billion compared to Sh87.1 billion in 2014, 2011 closed at Sh97.9 billion, 2012 at 96.02 billion and 2013 Sh94 billion.

Africa contributed 26 percent of the total tourism arrivals in 2015 with South Africa topping the Africa arrivals going by 17.6 percent to 30, 476 from 25, 931 in 2014.

Uganda arrivals came in second with arrivals going down by 8 percent to 29,038 from 31,586 in 2014.

Holiday is the major reason for people travelling in Kenya taking 71 percent of arrivals in 2015, business contributed about 12 per cent.

Visiting Friends and Relatives stood at 8 per cent conference tourism amounted 4 percent of the arrivals in 2015.

Traditional markets in 2015 recorded a decline owing to travel advisories from these markets.

United Kingdom tourists went down by 15 percent to 98,523 while the United States tourists went down by 10 percent to 84, 749.

Italy was the worst hit with tourist Arrivals from the country going down by 34 percent to 33,415 from 51,092 recorded in 2014.

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