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Published on : Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Kenya’s tourism industry was adversely affected by negative travel advisories from some source countries. However, the country’s efforts to revive the sector have been paying off as 263,300 foreign tourists visited Kenya in Q1 2016.
During the first four months of this year, conference tourism played a major role in boosting arrivals to 77,000 visitors up from 44,000 recorded in the same period of last year.
Nairobi remains the key conference tourism destination owing to its numerous ultra-modern facilities.
The government is now banking on the planned direct flights between Kenya and the United States as well as conference tourism to boost arrivals further.
The rising political temperatures in the country, however, may hurt the recovery efforts, fears Tourism Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Najib Balala.
Last year, tourist arrivals recorded a 19 per cent decline to 12 million from 1.5 million in 2014, mainly attributed to cases of insecurity.
Data from the Kenya Tourism Board indicated that tourists arriving through Moi International Airport in the port city of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast last year recorded a massive 35.5 per cent decline to 75,980 while those arriving through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi dipped 9.5 per cent.
Traditional tourist source markets registered a general decline in arrivals with Italy leading the drop. In Africa, Nigeria and South Africa were Kenya’s top source markets.