Kenya registers 83% increase in earnings from tourism in 2022

 Monday, March 27, 2023 


Tourism related profits in Kenya climbed by 83% in 2022 compared to 2021, but did not reach pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, according to the country’s Tourism Minister on Wednesday.

Kenya in East Africa is a popular tourist destination on the continent, owing to its wildlife in particular.

“Revenues (linked to tourism) reached 268.09 billion Kenyan shillings (about 2 billion euros) against 146.51 billion shillings in 2021, representing a growth of 83%”, Peninah Malonza, Minister of Tourism said during a press conference in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

Visitors rebounded to 72 per cent of their pre-pandemic level in 2019, Malonza told reporters, outpacing the rest of the continent which stands at 65 per cent of the pre-pandemic level.

In 2022, American visitors accounted for 16% of all arrivals, followed by Uganda (12%), the United Kingdom (10%), and Tanzania (10%).

China, which had been a growing source market before the pandemic struck, started to ease travel restrictions this year. Kenyan authorities will focus their marketing efforts on emerging markets like Rwanda, Nigeria and Ethiopia, Malonza said.

Around 1.5 million tourists visited Kenya in 2022, up 70% from 2021, but still not at pre-pandemic levels. Almost 2 million tourists visited the East African country in 2019.

Before Covid, the government stated in May that tourism contributed up to 10% of the GDP.

Tourism earnings are projected to rise to 425 billion shillings (USD 3.37 billion) this year, said David Gitonga, chief executive of the state Tourism Research Institute, before increasing to 540 billion shillings in 2027.

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