Kenya’s earnings from tourism rose by 3.9 percent last year to Ksh163.56 billion shillings, due to a slight increase in the number of visitors.
According to a report unveiled by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, Kenya received nearly 2.05 million tourists last year, denoting an increase of 1.1 percent.
Balala said an attack on a hotel and office complex in Nairobi last January, and a general slowdown in the global tourism business were to blame for the low growth in arrival numbers.
The United States of America topped the list of tourist arrivals to Kenya, with the number of tourists growing by 9 percent in 2019 to 245,437 tourists.
The U.S was followed by Uganda and Tanzania which recorded a 5 percent growth in arrivals to Kenya.
Domestic tourism, on the other hand, did well with bed nights growing by 10.4 percent from 4.48 million in 2018 to 4.95 million in 2019.
However, the hotel sector was slightly hit economically in 2019 escalating into ones laying off staffs and others shutting down at the start of January 2020.
Balala said the solution to the ailing sect was for the government to introduce more airports in the country to accommodate more tourists and introduction of an extra state of the art convention centre besides KICC.
“We must put the airport right because that is the pointed entry and we must get it right. We must have a brand new airport in Kenya and we must also have a new state of the art convention centre.”
Tourism sector ranks among Kenya’s top foreign currency earners.