Kenya’s tourist arrivals set new record


(eTN) – The first six months of 2010 have seen tourist arrivals boosted by a remarkable 20+ percent in Kenya, a huge boost for the country’s entire tourism industry and the country as a whole. The previous record was established in 2007 before the global economic and financial crisis struck. Figures just released show that a new peak has been set in 2010, awarding Kenya’s massive and determined marketing drive abroad in existing, new, and emerging markets.

This also is a sharpish reminder for other countries in the region which have been hesitant to spend money on their respective tourist boards, as the success in Kenya proves that it is money well spent. Tourism in Kenya is a key to economic prosperity, job creation and retention, and both direct foreign and domestic investments into the sector. The results are all the more remarkable considering that several global cruise lines have taken Mombasa port calls off their destination list due to piracy concerns in the Indian Ocean waters.

Industry sources in touch with this correspondent have pointed out that future growth will largely depend on more direct air connections, in particular from emerging markets, which in turn will depend on the speedy conclusion of the expansion works at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, which is creaking at the joints having reached the full saturation point.