Tourism receipts in Kenya rise 31 pc in H1 2023

India 5th largest market as visitor arrivals rise 32 pc in Jan-Jun 2023
/ New Delhi
Tourism receipts in Kenya rise 31 pc in H1 2023

Kenya Tourism Board says that holidays remained the main purpose of entry, accounting for 39.9 pc of all arrivals (Photo: India Outbound)

Kenya has witnessed a healthy 32 pc rise in number of visitors arriving in the country in the first six months of the current year, compared to the last year. Tourism spending has also risen 31 pc in the same period, says the country’s tourism board. India is the fifth largest source market for the country.
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Tourism in Kenya has continued to grow rapidly this year, too, as figures released by Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) show that tourism earnings in Kenya rose 31 pc in the first six months of the year, January to June, compared to a similar period last year as the sector benefited from the ongoing global recovery.

KTB says that the tourism sector recorded KSH 152.6 billion (USD 1.06 billion) in earnings in the six months as against KSH 116.2 billion in the same period last year.

Not just the earnings, the number of tourists arriving in the country, too, has risen almost at a similar rate. The total arrivals in the East African nation up to June 30, 2023 stood at 847,810, up from 642,861 arrivals in the corresponding period in 2022, representing a 32 pc increase.

The data shows that the top five international arrivals by country are the US, with 118,480 visitors, Uganda with 89,968, Tanzania with 69,777, the UK at 65,563 and India, the fifth largest source market with 42,805 tourists visiting the country.

KTB says that international travel and tourism were among the hardest hit by Covid-19 and had been projected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. “The tourism sector in Kenya experienced a remarkable upswing in international arrivals leading to a positive effect on the country’s tourism receipts,” says KTB.

“This performance is a 92 pc recovery when compared to the 2019 performance of 929,814 arrivals same period. Of significance is that June 2023 arrivals closed at 168,051. This is a growth of one percent when compared to 166,692,” it adds.

During the period under review, holidays remained the main purpose of entry, accounting for 39.9 pc of all arrivals or 338,509 visitors. Business, meetings and conferences came in second with 226,908 arrivals, a share of 26.8 pc while visiting family and friends was third with 213,417 arrivals at 25.2 pc.

Transit passengers were 44,620 or 5.3 pc, while other purposes were education, medical, religion and sports, stood at 24,356, representing 2.9 pc.

Some key markets have surpassed 2019 (January-June) performance, notably the US by 7 pc, Italy by 15.6 pc, Germany by 4 pc, Rwanda by 34.5 pc and Ethiopia by 66.1 pc.

KTB says that during the period under review, domestic tourism had a positive growth, with bed nights recording a 16 pc increase in the year 2023 (January – June) closing at 2.3 million, compared to 2.02 million.

The best-performing months were April and June which can be attributed to the Easter holidays and business travel respectively, it adds.

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