NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – Tourist arrivals in the nine months to September went up by 7.8 per cent to 777,791 from 723,174 visitors recorded during the same period in 2017.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Betty Radier says arrivals through Moi International Airport Mombasa have improved with 84,286 visitors up from 57,588 arrivals in the same period last year, a 46 percent growth.
The US – the top performing market – posted a 6 per cent increase in arrivals for the last nine months compared with the same period last year with 95,234 visitors up from 89,866 recorded last year.
UK, the second top performing, also increased arrivals by 4.5 per cent in the last nine months with 82,509 visitors up from 78,930 for Jan-September period last year.
“Germany recorded a 17.3 per cent growth with 79,972 visitors while France, within the same review period, posted an increase of visitors to 20,248 up from 16,403 same period last year, indicating a 23.4 per cent growth,” Radier revealed.
Italy, on the other hand, recorded a 30.8 per cent increase with arrivals shooting up to 40,218 from 30,740 in the same period last year.
This comes as Qatar Airways launched flights to Mombasa.
Qatar Airways will be operating four weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to Mombasa, bringing the number of weekly flights between Doha, Qatar and Kenya to a total of 25.
Radier said the direct flight was not only an endorsement of the destination but a vote of confidence on the Kenyan Coast.
“This is good news for the sector and together with the private sector. KTB will look into ways of partnering with Qatar airways as well as other aircrafts to increase passenger numbers into the route,” she added.
With Qatar’s inaugural flight, Kenya is set to receive visitors mainly from her key European tourist source markets such as Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and France. The United States of America is also key to this airline. Other markets include Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria.