, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – Tourism numbers in February went down marginally as the political climate heats up owing to the August General Election.
Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that the total number of visitors arriving through the Jomo Kenyatta and Moi International Airports decreased to 72,730 in February 2017 from 79,690 in January 2017.
The number of passengers who landed at JKIA decreased from 179,601 in November 2016 to 179,577 in December 2016, while passengers who embarked increased from 180,274 persons to 180,327 persons in the same period.
The sector has been recording improvement in the past two years after it was hard hit by insecurity especially after the Westgate Mall attack in September 2013.
In 2016, the sector recorded 17.8 per cent increase in earnings for the first time since 2012 to post Sh99.7 billion from Sh84.6 billion.
The number of international visitor arrivals rose by 13.5 per cent to 1.3 million in 2016 owing to improved security and successful high profile conferences hosted in the country.
Additionally, the sector has benefited from aggressive marketing in the domestic and international markets.
The Tourism Ministry has continued to invest in the sector with the Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala hopeful that the sector will grow by 20 per cent.
The ministry recently established the first ever Tourism Information Centre at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.