International arrivals on the rise but US, UK travel advisories shackle growth

Visitor arrivals through Kenya’s main airports Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport recorded an improvement to 113,307 in the second quarter from 1,177 visitors at a similar time last year.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics leading economic indicators report, however, shows that the number of visitor arrivals through JKIA and Moi International Airport dropped by 7.5 per cent to 113,307 persons in the three months to June from 122,498 persons in recorded by March this year.

Since April, the US and UK have maintained level four travel alerts on Kenya subsequently causing the decline in the number of international arrivals.

Read also: KCB shrugs off Covid-19 as half-year profit doubles to Sh15.3 billion

Kenya has been on the two countries “red-list” as a high risk destination due to the rise in number of COVID-19 cases.

The US and UK are regarded as the key source markets of tourists in Kenya. 

The rise in the number of visitors is as a result of the ease of the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, coupled with efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to market the Kenyan hospitality industry and make it visible to the rest of the world.

In late June, Kenya hosted the World Rally Championship Safari Rally, an event that made a return to the country after 19-year hiatus.

Investors in the hotel industry reported a boom in hotel bookings as thousands of visitors trooped to the Naivasha in Rift Valley which was the scene of the rally action.

The WRC was earlier scheduled to make a return to Kenya in 2020 but the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic thwarted those planning.

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