The Kenyan tourism industry is confident, following the publication of first quarter arrival data, that they are firmly on course to a record year, exceeding the arrivals of 2007.
Some quarters in the sector, however, are cautious in regard of revenues, as – according to their observations – tariffs and rates are still depressed following the rebates and discounts needed to kickstart the industry after the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009.
First quarter arrival figures available show that indeed the record of 2007 was very slightly exceeded, with a rise of nearly 25 percent over the last year of 2009.
Global recovery undoubtedly aided this trend, but also political peace and quiet in the country and the wider region has helped to restore consumer confidence.
The Kenya Tourist Board was only beaten into the runner’s up position of the continental rating undertaken by the “Good Safari Guide” by South Africa, which poured mega money into their pre-World Cup campaigns and reaped their due reward for their Herculean efforts. Meanwhile, Kenya has also made inroads into the conference market, and with the launch of new safari and culture circuits, the launch of new domestic air destinations and the introduction of new products, like learning bushcraft from Masai warriors as part of a safari itinerary, Kenya has catapulted right to the top of the most-preferred destinations in Africa, while the wider region is undoubtedly benefitting from this trend.
To sustain this laudable trend, constant product innovation, product excellence, and relentless marketing in existing, new, and emerging markets must continue to lift the tourism sector to the top of the Kenyan economy once again.