Kenya projects to receive about 1.46 million tourists by close of the year following the ease of coronavirus restrictions.
This, according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, would translate to about Ksh.256 billion, a 75 percentage point increase from last year when the country bagged Ksh.146 billion.
Balala spoke at the Bomas of Kenya Tuesday when he after the opened the 12th edition of the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo.
Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala today expressed confidence that the destination was quickly on its way to full recovery as it built on resilience, powerful destination, growth of domestic tourism and value addition to tourism experience.
Balala who was briefing the local and international media at Bomas of Kenya after opening the 12th edition of Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) said the estimated arrivals would translate to 265 billion shillings.
“Last year, we recorded 870,000 visitors into the country with revenue receipt of Ksh.146 billion, and by close of this year, we have better projects since things have begun looking up,” said Balala.
The expo, which is the largest East and Central African Travel Trade Show, brings together over 200 exhibitors and 160 buyers among other industry partners and media from some of Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
The Expo marks a significant development in the recovery of the sector from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic slump.
With buyers present cutting across a number of states, positions Kenya as an attractive spot in the global eye for investment in tourism development.
“MKTE 2022 represents the aspirations of the tourism sector in Kenya and Africa, it shows that the sector is ready to kick off and we are ready for business. I am happy to see the optimism among partners who have come together to make this event a success again,” he said.
The Ministry has built on efforts to ensure that tourism experiences are not only safe and enjoyable for visitors, but also sustainable and profitable for stakeholders in the industry.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Betty Radier said the 2022 expo is part of board’s efforts to revitalize tourism in Kenya as it focuses on Africa and other emerging markets.
“We are delighted to have the event return to in-person after two years, last year we held the event virtually to ensure that the sector did not lose out on any opportunities,” she said. “As we continue to work towards our vision of a thriving tourism industry, we are determined to support this vital sector by providing an environment that will attract visitors and enable them to connect with the best in local hospitality, culture and heritage.” Said Dr Radier
The three-day event will run from Wednesday until Friday, October 7, 2022.
MKTE has over the years brought together different international buyers from top source markets into Kenya who have seized and created opportunities in the country’s thriving tourism sector, which is one of the backbones of the country’s economy.