Increased tourist arrival from new source markets such as Asia and the rest of Africa will sustain the tourism growth momentum after security related shocks contributed to a decline in arrivals from traditional source markets.
Arrivals from the two regions grew at the fastest rates of 8.4 and 8.1% respectively. Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis further projects a growth of at least 5% in tourist arrivals this year.
Out of KES 1.5 trillion the tourism industry generated in the East African Community in 2016, Kenya accounted for the largest share of KES 670 billion, followed by Tanzania KES 590 billion, Uganda KES 180 billion, Rwanda KESS 100 billion and Burundi KES 20 billion. The sector directly employs 1.2 million East Africans
Insecurity related concerns that saw traditional source markets embark on numerous travel advisories, saw Kenya turn to unexploited markets of among others Africa, Asia and South America to sustain the sector that contributes 10% to GDP and is the second biggest foreign exchange earner.
Last year, tourist arrivals from Asia pacific grew 8.4%, Africa 8.1% and Middle East 3.9% while those from Europe reduced by half and America dipped from 6% in 2015 to 4.3% last year. A total of 1.34 tourists visited Kenya in 2016.
77,848 delegates arrived for conferences such as UNCTAD, TICAD and the Global Enterprise Summit last year.
KIPPRA says initiatives such as east Africa tourist visa with 4000 issuances, east Africa online tourism marketing portal, open sky policy help tourism grow.