Tourism sector finished strong in 2017 despite poll jitters

April 26, 2018
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The survey attributed the improved performance to enhanced security and aggressive promotion in both domestic and international markets.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – The tourism sector showed resilience in 2017 despite a prolonged electioneering period and travel advisories issued by some countries to rake in Sh119.9 billion compared to Sh99.7 billion in 2016.

According to the 2018 Economic Survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, international arrivals increased by 8.1 percent to reach 1.4 million in 2017 from 1.3 million the previous year.

The survey attributed the improved performance to enhanced security and aggressive promotion in both domestic and international markets.

Notably, the number of international arrivals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport remained steady in August dropping marginally to 79,000 from 98,000 in July, and dropping further in September to 78,000 following the nullification of the August 8th presidential elections.

The numbers further plunged to 56,000 in the period leading to the October 26 repeat presidential election.

The arrivals, however, picked up in November rising to 62,000 following the conclusion of electioneering period, finishing at 91,000 international arrivals’ in December.

Hotel bed-nights occupancy increased by 11.3 percent from 6.4 million in 2016, to 7.1 million 2017.

The number of international conferences held contracted by 15.9 percent from 227 in 2016 to 191 in 2017. Local conferences, on the other hand, increased by 2.4 percent from 3,755 in 2016 to 3,844 in 2017.

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