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Kenya’s tourism earnings jump to Sh157 billion

By Fredrick Obura | January 7th 2019
Tourism CS Najib Balala (PHOTO: FILE)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Earnings from tourism industry improved in 2018 with the ministry reporting Sh157 billion compared to Sh119.9 billion earned the previous year.

The ministry’s report says the number of international visitor arrivals grew by 37 percent to 2 million in 2018 from 1.4 million in 2017.

The top 30 source markets for Kenya are USA, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, India, China, Germany, Italy, South Africa and France. Nature of the visits include holiday, business and conference, visiting friends and relatives.

“Tourism performance for the year 2018 has seen substantial improvement compared to 2017 in both tourism arrivals, domestic tourism performance and earnings,” says the report.

It attributes the improvement to political stability, improved security situation, growth in the aviation sector, investor confidence, withdrawal of travel advisories, and visits by foreign dignitaries.

During last year, Kenya witnessed visits by high profile individuals including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, US First Lady Melania Trump, and former US President Barack Obama.

Among the improvements in aviation sector during 2018 include improvement of services at JKIA, direct flights from Nairobi to New York, Air France making a comeback flying three times per week and the Qatar Airways Doha-Mombasa flight.

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