As per the Tourism Industry Performance Report published yesterday by the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala, the industry helped the country to earn more than Sh119.9 billion in 2017, in comparison to Sh99.7 billion the previous year.
To quote Balala, “Kenya grew stronger in 2017 as a destination brand following positive visibility and endorsements it received through global accolades such as the World Travel Awards’ declaration of Kenya as the world’s best safari destination. This was achieved despite a busy electioneering that threatened to slow down tourism activities. The strong growth in tourism receipts was underpinned by a 9.8 per cent growth in total international arrivals into Kenya by air, sea and across border last year to 1.47 million arrivals compared to 1.34 million arrivals in 2016,” he added.
Overseas arrivals by air and sea increased by 10.1 percent to reach 964,294 as cross-border influx increased by 9.3 percent to close the year with 508,364 visitors respectively. But, there was a drop in terms of cruise arrivals by 26 per cent. It was close to 2,013 in comparison to 2,717 in the previous year.
In spite of the powerful performance of the industry in an election year, the stakeholders of the industry pinpointed a growth of 20 percent in terms of arrivals. The CS explained that the government has placed measures to raise the arrival of cruise liners with special aim on home based cruise liners.
“We are going to improve facilities to attract more cruise liners. For instance, the terminal for cruise ships will be ready by June this year and we have appointed a consultant to advice us on how to improve facilities and the incentives, which can attract more cruise liners,” said Balala.