Tourism sector in Kenya lost Ksh.110 billion in 2020
Kenya saw a significant drop in the number of international arrivals having registered a staggering Ksh.110 billion in losses in the year 2020.
The sector had projected Ksh.147.5 billion in revenues for the period under review but only realised Ksh.37 billion in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
This is against the back of a slow but gradual pick in terms of international arrivals when President Uhuru Kenyatta eased pandemic restrictions in August last year.
Between January to October last year, a total of 170, 803 tourists arrived in Kenya.
However, in six months to June 2021, the country recorded 305,635 international arrivals on the back of relaxed pandemic restricts.
Out of the 305,635 arrivals, 94,241 came to visit family and friends, 92,828 for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) purposes.
Other categories include 87,629 for holiday, 15,811 were on transit, 8,637 for education, 3,592 for medical purposes, 1,722 for religious purposes, and 1,175 for sports.
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This is according to a new report which was released by the Tourism Research Institute on Thursday.
According to the report, the top five source markets are USA (49,178), Uganda (31,418), Tanzania (31,291), China (18,069), and then the United Kingdom (16,264).
The major points of entry in terms of air transport are Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (218,992), Moi International Airport, Mombasa (16,054), and Wilson Airport (1,305).
“We are encouraged by the numbers although we are not there yet. Because this is only a fifth of the two million visitors we received in 2019,” Tourism CS Najib Balala said.
However, with the reverberating effects caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the numbers were low compared to other pre-pandemic times
“But we understand this is because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued which affected the travel trends this year. “
The major points of entry in terms of air transport were Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (218,992), Moi International Airport, Mombasa (16,054), and Wilson Airport (1,305). Other points of entry constituted 69,284 arrivals.