(eTN) – Kenya is projecting a 15 percent growth overall for the year 2011 according to sources at the Ministry of Tourism in Nairobi, setting the stage for another record year for the country’s tourism industry. In particular, traditional markets have recovered strongly since the 2008 downturn, although new and emerging markets, as a result of intensive marketing by the Kenya Tourist Board and the private sector, are showing strong growth rates, too.
Kenya’s important beach holiday market is also looking for a bumper year, taking advantage of the political turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt from where tourist flows have been diverted elsewhere including to Mombasa and Malindi.
The MICE market has also put up a sterling performance in the first quarter of 2011, giving rise to hope that the news of a second major international conference center to be built in the Bamburi area of Mombasa, will further stimulate demand and bring more conference, incentive, and meeting tourists to the country. The new facility, able to host as many as 5,000 conference participants at a go, will be owned and managed by the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation and is part of Kenya’s determined effort to raise its tourism profile. More flights by airlines already flying to Kenya and by new carriers making Nairobi their new choice destination in Eastern Africa are also supporting growth of the sector, which has returned to the top of the economic performers list.