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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says this is 14 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year/FILE

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Tourism sector makes Sh47bn in 2016 H1

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says this is 14 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year/FILE

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says this is 14 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – The tourism sector has made Sh47 billion in the first six months of 2016 with projections of hitting the Sh100 billion mark by the end of the year.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says this is 14 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

“Arrivals at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport grew by 13.3 percent, while Mombasa Airport arrivals grew by 13.8 percent during the period under review compared to the same period last year. And then there is a 3 percent increase in cross border tourism, it’s not growing as first we need to investigate why it’s not working,” he added.

He says domestic tourism was the best performing, with a 56 percent increase in the period under review compared to the same period last year.

“The problem is that we are taking the domestic market for granted. II we invest much more all of us, both government and the private sector by being innovative I believe we can do a lot in this sector,” he added.

According to the 2015 tourism numbers, earnings went down by 2.9 percent to Sh84.6 billion from Sh87.1 billion in 2014 attributable to travel advisories from key tourism markets for the country due to security concerns.

International arrivals went down by 12.6 percent in 2015 from 1.35 million arrivals in 2014 to 1.18 million in 2015.

In the first quarter of 2016, tourism was the most improved expanding by 12.1 percent in the period under review compared to a contraction of 11.4 percent during the same quarter in 2015.

The number of tourist arrivals at major airports increased from 231,038 in the first quarter of 2015 to 261,404 in the quarter under review attributable to mitigation measures that were instituted to boost tourist arrivals.

Balala highlighted conference tourism, innovation and tourism promotion as the key pillars going forward.

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