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Kenya Tourism records double digit rise 

Kenya  Tourism sector has recorded a double digit rise in earnings of Sh.120 billion in the year 2017 despite the prolonged electioneering period.

This symbolizes a 20. 3 percent growth compared to 2016 when the tourism sector earned Sh.99. 69 billion.

The strong growth in tourism receipts was underpaid by a 9.8 percent growth in the total international arrivals in to the country by air , sea and across border in 2017 to 1,474,671 arrivals compared to 1,342, 899 arrivals in 2016.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, while releasing 2017 statistics on the performance of Kenya’s tourism industry, Tourism  and  Wildlife  Cabinet  Secretary (CS). Najib  Balala  said that the increased arrivals to Kenya outpaced the estimated global growth in tourism numbers according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report.

The report indicated that International tourist arrivals worldwide increased by 7 percent to reach a total of 1.32 billion in 2017,” said the CS.

Balala  sated that Kenya’s source markets recorded impressive growth while the United States of America (USA) remained Kenya’s leading source market growing by 17 percent to top 114, 507 arrivals.

He  said the U.S market contributed 11.8 percent of arrivals, followed by the United Kingdom with an 11.1 share of arrivals which also grew by 11.1 percent to 107,078 arrivals.

“Uganda came third with a share of 6.4 percent closely followed by India with a Contribution of 6.2 percent , China closed the list of the top five performers with a share of 5.5 percent contribution to the total arrivals in 2017,” explained the CS

In terms of regions, Balala revealed that Europe led on arrivals by 36 percent, followed by Africa at 29 percent, Americans and Asia 15 percent, Middle East and Oceania recorded 3 and 2 percent respectively in 2017.

“Uganda topped the list of Kenya’s top source Market in Africa by 20.6 percent representing 61,542 arrivals , followed by South Africa which grew by 9.8 to record 39,441 while Tanzania increased by 21. 8 percent to 21, 110,” he added.

Commenting on the 2017 tourism performance, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO, Dr. Betty  Radier, said the launch of the Mombasa- Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) coupled with increased air connectivity has greatly improved access to tourism attractions.

She further said the opening up of new properties and the entrance of more international brands in to Kenya’s hospitality industry has greatly expanded the Country’s capacity in both quality hotel beds and meeting and conferencing facilities.

“KTB continues to market the diversity of Kenya, reinforcing, massages of our key attractions and letting the world know that a Kenyan safari does not happen only during the great wildebeest migration into Maasai Mara, it is an all year experience,” said Radier, adding that Kenya offers a warm climate, tempered with cool sea breezes ideal for passive and active relaxation for tourists all ages.

The release of the 2017 tourism industry performance report comes against the backdrop of the on-going implementation of a new Tourism Master-plan and marketing strategy which were developed in 2017.

By  Joyce  Lutomia

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