NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – Kenya has been voted the world leading safari destination at the 2017 World Travel Awards.
This is the third consecutive year the country has won in the category.
President Uhuru Kenyatta says the win is a well-deserved accolade that speaks to all the country has to offer.
“It is a moment of national pride for all Kenyans,” Kenyatta said.
The win is expected to boost the country’s tourism sector as it’s seen as an endorsement of the destination known as home of the Authentic Safari.
Kenya emerged the winner against country nominees of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Kenya’s tourism sector has been on a recovering trend in the recent past but might be weighed down by the prolonged electioneering period that stalled bookings.
In the second quarter of 2017, statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that hotel and food service activities recorded a growth of 13.4 per cent compared to 15.8 per cent growth in the corresponding quarter of 2016.
Visitor arrivals through the two main airports of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa increased by 14.4 per cent from 186,685 in the second quarter of 2016 to 213,543 during the quarter under review.
“This has largely been attributable to sustained improvement in security in the country and enhanced marketing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and other actors in the tourism sector,” KNBS statistics indicate.
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.