Kenya hopes for a tourism recovery by 2018

Published on : Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kenya flagTourism remains one of the main industries in Kenya. But the coastline in Kenya has faced four years of continuous decline over concerns of security. Due to series of deadly terror attacks by the Somalian Islamist militants Al-Shabaab, many foreign tourists have avoided visiting the region. Additionally, the slump in the country’s tourism industry had a devastating effect on the local economy and people’s way of living.


After the setbacks, Kenya’s$1bn a year tourism sector looks all set for a healthy recovery in 2016. Many hotels in Kenya over the coast areas are experiencing 80-90% bookings, which is around 50% up from the previous year. The country has world class beach and safari destinations, but security fears over the last few years have reduced the number of visitors. Coast province travelers account for 60% of all tourists visiting Kenya. Although situation is improving gradually, the country still remains vulnerable to attacks. In April 2015, a vicious massacre was carried out at Garissa University College by Al-Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group based in Somalia. These incidents have led to travel bans from many western governments, which had a huge impact on tourist inflow. The Kenyan government is, however, hopeful for a recovery within two years. Security has been beefed up along with funding for the sector. To quote new tourism minister Najib Balala, “From December this year we are going to see a lot of visitors come in …to fully recover, I think it will be winter 2018.”


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