NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 2 – The January terror attack on DusitD2 hotel in Westlands, Nairobi may temporarily affect the revival in tourist arrivals and guest nights that began in 2018.
The Hotel Outlook 2019-2023 report by PwC projects an overall decline of least 13.6 percent in tourist arrivals this year and a 5.1 percent decrease in guest nights.
This is despite the 37.3 percent overall growth recorded in 2018 which saw the country receive more than 2 million visitors.
Improved performance in 2018 was on account of several factors that include increased air connectivity with Kenya Airways acquiring new planes and introducing non-stop flights to New York. The national carrier also reinstated daily flights to Gabon after a six-year absence.
Air France also returned to the market with three weekly flights. Qatar Airways also added flights between Doha and Mombasa.
The government’s massive ‘Magical Kenya’ promotional campaigns were also a contributing factor to the improvement in performance.
“There was also a period of economic growth and security, which in turn led to an easing of travel advisories, making Kenya a more desirable destination,” says the report.
The report however expects a pickup in tourist arrivals and a rebound in guest nights beginning 2020.
Overall, the report projects arrivals to increase at a 1.3 percent compound annual rate to 2.16 million in 2023, from 2.025 million in 2018.
PwC also projects for an increase in the number of available rooms form 20,100 in 2018 to 23,000 in 2023.
Guest nights will total an estimated 4.6 million in 2023, marking a 3.4 percent compound annual increase from 3.9 million in 2018.
Total room revenue is expected to expand by 7.4 percent compounded annually, rising to Sh75.7 billion in 2023 from Sh52.9 in 2018.