Kenya tourist arrivals drop marginally amid security fears
Tourist arrivals to Kenya declined marginally in the first three months of this year.
The 0.5 per cent drop experienced in the first quarter of 2012 is due to insecurity experienced in the country recently and travel advisories issued by Kenya's key markets, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Kenya Tourism Board.
“The kidnapping incidents reported at the coast of Kenya, really dented Kenya’s unique position as a preferred destination and we are now confident that the remedial and proactive security measures taken by the government will help remedy the situation,” said Dan Mwanzo, minister for tourism.
Last year, the sector recorded a total of 313,691 arrivals for the first quarter of 2011 compared to 312,258 at the same period this year.
Tourists from UK and France who were issued with travel advisories kept away from Kenya. However, only 16 markets recorded a rise in arrivals from January to March 2012 as India made it to the list of top arrivals with 15 per cent increase in numbers.
Mureiithi Ndegwa, KTB managing director is however optimist that they will endeavour to retain the country's reputation in tourism.
“This being an election year, we are alive to the fact the country may not enjoy a lot of tourism. We are however at work to ensure that the top of mind awareness regarding the country remains high,” Muriithi explained.