Kenya’s 2023 tourism arrivals grew by more than 460,000 in the period to December, marking the third consecutive growth since 2021 when the numbers started rising.

The annual tourism sector performance report shows arrivals rose from 1,483,752 in 2022 to 1,951,185 in 2023, a 31.5 percent increase.

This is however way less compared to the previous year (2021-2022) when the numbers grew by about 71 per cent.

August recorded the highest number of visitors at 11 per cent of the total arrivals, attributed to the wildebeest migration experience in Maasai Mara around late July to August.

The growth is attributed to the good value for money perception by tourists, implying their belief in the country to offer quality experiences, services and attractions relative to the cost of their travel.

“Affordability of travel in Kenya is also a significant factor influencing the increase in tourist numbers,” the report reads.

The arrivals are attributed to the country’s positioning as a safe destination which is crucial in attracting tourists.

The perception according to the report may result from effective safety measures, low crime rates in tourist areas and the country’s commitment to providing a secure environment for visitors.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport  registered the highest number, at 69 per cent of the total arrivals followed by Mombasa International Airport at eight per cent.

Most tourists using the road as mode of transport came through Busia Border, at eight per cent of the total arrivals, followed by Namanga Border at six per cent and Malaba at two per cent.

A total of 4,000 visitors used water as a mode of transport through Kilindini Seaport, Shimoni Seaport and Kisumu Pier.

USA was the top source market in the period under review with 265,310 tourists, which was 14 per cent of the total, surpassing the 2019 mark when it yielded 245,437 arrivals.

Uganda, Tanzania and the United Kingdom had  10, 8, and 8 per cent market shares, respectively.

Worth noting, is the Uganda market performance, whose extent of recovery was at 90 per cent, having yielded Kenya 223,010 arrivals in 2019.

The other source markets with a notable number of visitor arrivals were India, Germany, Italy, China, Somalia and Rwanda.

“A total of 13 of the 30 top market performers were from Africa which together had a share of 60 per cent of the total,” the report reads.

Holiday was the top reason why most travellers visited Kenya in the period under review, at 45 per cent.

It was followed by those visiting friends and relatives, at 24 per cent of the total.

Arrivals on business and MICE came at a close third with 24 per cent of the total visitation.

There was also a good number of visitors for other purposes such as religion, education, medical, employment and sporting activities.

Additionally, five per cent were visitors who entered the country while on transit to their final destinations.

Source: The-Star

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