Kenya eyes Saudi Arabia to promote tourism
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is now examining ways of future collaboration, knowledge sharing and closer partnerships to revitalize Africa’s tourism sector.
Balala spoke during the Africa tourism recovery summit which officially opened in Nairobi on Friday.
Among the top guests who graced the forum were the Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ahmed Alkhateeb and his Jamaica’s counterpart Edmund Bartlett.
Kenya and Saudi Arabia have already signed a deal to foster cooperation in tourism development and promotion between the two destinations.
Latest data reveals Kenya saw a significant drop in the number of international arrivals having registered a staggering Ksh.110 billion in losses in the year 2020.
- Tourism sector in Kenya lost Ksh.110 billion in 2020
- Jambojet partners with KTB to promote domestic tourism
- Balala hold talks with the world tourism leaders on the impact of COVID-19
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 was 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 restrictions.
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).
“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,” said Balala.