The tourism sector is on a rebound from the Covid-19 hit, according to latest data from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB).
KTB data shows that the total number of arrivals during the January-November 2022 period was 1,321,887, which is an increase of 74.5 per cent from the same period last year.
“The destination has attained 70.2 per cent recovery of the performance for the year 2019, which stood at 1.97 million arrivals,’’ said the country’s top tourism marketing agency in a statement.
KTB cited leisure as the most popular reason for many visitors coming to Kenya during this period, with 39.6 per cent of arrivals being for holiday.
Visiting friends and relatives category contributed 26 per cent of the total arrivals at 344,256 passengers, while business and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) accounted for 26.1 per cent of the total arrivals at 345,123 passengers. The on-transit passengers also made up a significant portion of arrivals during this period at 67,087 passengers.
The top five markets for Kenya during this period were the United States with 190,187 arrivals (14.4 per cent), Uganda with 132,942 (10.1 per cent), the United Kingdom with 117,691 (8.9 per cent), Tanzania with 110,603 (8.4 per cent) and India 74,020 (5.6 per cent).
Meanwhile, the hospitality industry has reported brisk business this festive season.
The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast executive officer, Mr Sam Ikwaye, said average occupancy in Mombasa and Diani, in the South Coast, and Kwale currently stands at 90 per cent.
“The good weather and prolonged school holidays have been good for business,” said Mr Ikwaye.
He urged authorities to address the issue of beach safety and security through better beach management laws.
Diani Beach Resort & Spa Managing Director Bobby Kamani urged the government to review an order barring ministries and departments from holding conferences in hotels, saying conference tourism remains a key pillar for the hospitality and tourism industry.
Mr Kamani, who is also a KTB director, said conferences supported the sector at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when international tourism was disrupted.