An estimated 2 million tourists visited the Country in the last financial year according to the latest data from the tourism sector.
According to the Ministry of Tourism the number could rise further this year with the data indicating that over 900,000 tourists have already visited the country ahead of the high season.
The rise in the numbers has been attributed to improved marketing, emergence of new markets and new tourism destinations.
This emerged when stakeholders met in Lake Naivasha to formulate a Tourism Satellite Account which will be used to measure the impact of the tourism sector to the country’s economy.
According to Tourism Research Institute acting CEO David Gitonga, the Country earned Ksh 157B from the over 2m international visitors last year.
“Already over 900,000 international tourists have visited the Country and our projections are that this will rise to over 2.1m as the high peak season is ahead of us,” he said.
On the Tourism Satellite Account, Gitonga said that it will ensure that the investors and stakeholders get the latest data on time to help them prepare and market their businesses.
He said that the project was designed to capture all the aspects of tourism activities with a view to bring out the true value of the sector’s contribution to the GDP.
“The development of TSA is being done based on the TSA methodological framework developed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization,” he said.
Dr Geoffrey Manyara from the UN economic commission for Africa said that the project would be carried out in six months adding that this would make Kenya the fourth country to have a TSA.
Already South Africa, Botswana and Rwanda have embraced the satellite account which will help in policy formulation and measure direct impact to the GDP.
“Currently Africa contributes to 4.5 percent of tourists in the world and the TSA will market the East Africa region so that number of tourists can rise from the current 5.8m to 35m by 2024,”
Manyara said that Kenya is currently targeting more visitors from Nigeria and Egypt which were now new tourism markets.
On his part, the MD Tourism Finance Corporation Orumoi Jonah said that the players in the sector had continued to investor heavily mainly in the counties.
“The Tourism Satellite Account data will enable TFC to make informed decisions in determining the specific Investments to be done in different parts of the country,” he said.