Kenya's charm offensive pays off and tourism sector records 9.8pc increase in international arrival in 2017

Tourism stake holders are now optimistic the sector would perform even better in 2018 and predict arrivals are would grow by 16 percent in 2018.

Tourists flocked the country in large numbers even during the tense months of elections resulting in the revenue hitting upwards of 100 billion shillings.

Earnings in the sector grew 20.3% in 2017 to 120 billion shillings, up from the 99 billion shillings recorded in 2016.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala attributed the numbers to international arrivals, which increased 9.8% to 1.47 million visitors, up from the 1.34 million visitors the country received in 2016.

The domestic market also performed well and recorded 4.05 million bed nights in 2017, up 15.9% from the 3.5 million bed nights recorded in the previous year.

Tourism stake holders are now optimistic the sector would perform even better in 2018 and predict arrivals are would grow by 16 percent this year to 1.7 million.

These numbers are expected to be bolstered by the introduction of Kenya Airways’ direct flights to the US later in the year as well as a scheduled 10 day road show slated for the American market.

In 2017, Kenya registered a total of 114,507 visitors from the United States compared to 97,883 visitors the previous year, representing a 17% growth.

To safeguard this, ministry of tourism has drawn up a blue print to guide on growing the sector.

The four pillars include; Review of the marketing strategies, Product development with a focus on the core products, Wildlife and beaches, Investment in tourism projects and Infrastructure development that supports growth in tourism.

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