Tourism earnings surge 83pc as foreign travel rebounds


Wednesday February 22 2023

MV World Odyssey Mombasa

Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza (right) receives guests from MV World Odyssey when it docked at the Mombasa port on January 26, 2023. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG

Tourism earnings rose 83 percent in 2022, attributed to a global recovery in the sector and campaigns boosting international events in Kenya.

According to Tourism Secretary Peninah Malonza, the sector booked Sh268.09 billion compared to Sh146.51 billion in 2021.

The earnings jumped as visitors’ arrivals last year rose by 70.5 percent to 1,483,752 from 870,465 the previous period.

Also read: Kenya eyes 1.46 million tourists by December 2022

International travel and tourism were among the hardest hit by Covid-19 since 2020 and had been projected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

The last year’s receipts and inbound tourists are yet to reach 2019 levels at Sh296.20 billion with 2,048,834 visitors.

Globally, tourism recorded 63 percent growth in 2022, but still below 2019 figures.

“Kenya witnessed a tremendous improvement in the year 2022, and is today on the right track in bouncing back from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage CS Peninah Malonza.

“The arrivals represent a 72.4 percent recovery towards 2019 numbers, which is above the global average recovery rate (63 percent).”

Visitors on holiday posted the highest growth at 36.6 percent, with those visiting family and friends at 27.8 percent. Business and meetings incentives convention and exhibitions (MICE) recorded 27.2 percent of the total visits.

Read: Less than half of tourists visit for holidays as arrivals up 74pc

The United States took the top position with 209,360 visitors last year, representing 16 percent.

Uganda followed with 12 percent, while the United Kingdom and Tanzania registered 10 percent of the total visitors each.

“Initiatives such as destination campaigns both locally and internationally, hosting of international events such as Magical Kenya Ladies Open, 9th Africities Summit in Kisumu, sector initiatives and innovations, and the new Kenya tourism strategy 2022-2025 are what have made the performance improvement possible,” said Ms Malonza.

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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