Tourist arrivals down 72 per cent in 10 months to October
Published on: December 02, 2020 05:26 (EAT)
The number of international arrivals through all points of entry into the country has fallen 72 per cent across ten months to October. This is according to data from the Tourism Research Institute which shows 470,971 arrivals between January and October in comparison to 1,718,550 arrivals at the same time last year. The near wipe out in the tourist numbers has been attributed to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic globally which brought international travel to its knees. In spite of the return to international travel, the full complement of international arrivals is yet to resume amidst fears occasioned by a second wave of infections across the world. “We are not out of the woods yet, but we are optimistic the situation will gradually improve once the vaccine being developed become readily available to the masses,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. Kenya has nevertheless seen a gradual pick up registering 14,049 arrivals in August and 26,018 and 39,894 arrivals respectively in September and October. Visitations to friends and family lead the way by volumes as they cover 35.3 per cent of all arrivals ahead of business travel at 35.1 per cent. Meanwhile, only 19.9 per cent of arrivals cover holiday makers indicating travel is largely on an essential basis only. The dampened performance of the sector has seen the tourism sector shed 74 per cent direct international receipts translating to a Ksh.37 billion loss against projected revenues of Ksh.147.5 billion in the review period. Uganda represents Kenya’s top arrival market source with 60,399 visitors ahead of the US at 53,444, Tanzania at 43,649, the United Kingdom at 42,341 and India at 25,251.