Nairobi to generate Sh124 billion from visitors’ spending
Posted Wednesday, July 18 2012 at 19:07
Nairobi has been ranked the fourth most popular African destination in the 2012 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, putting it behind Johannesburg, Cairo and Casablanca.
The study forecast that 1.8 million visitors are expected to visit the Kenya capital city in 2012, injecting an estimated Sh124 billion ($1.5 billion) into the town’s economy.
These figures translate into a 10 per cent growth in visitor numbers and a 16.7 per cent growth in visitor spending compared to the 2011 Index results.
“A key finding of the Index is that Nairobi ranks fourth out of 13 cities surveyed in Africa, both in terms of visitor numbers and visitor spend,” said Charlton Goredema, vice president and market manager, East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.
About 203,000 people are expected to originate from London , Amsterdam (149,000 people), and Johannesburg (138,000 people).
Londoners are expected to spend Sh28 billion ($339 million) during 2012, a growth of 8.1 per cent from 2011 and visitors from Amsterdam Sh9.7 billion ($118 million), a 6.7 per cent growth from the 2011.
Those from Johannesburg are expected to spend Sh11.4 billion ($138 million) representing a 10.2 per cent growth over 2011.
Other leading African cities in terms of visitors numbers are Cairo, which expects 3.3 million in 2012; Johannesburg, which expects 2.5 million ; and Casablanca, which anticipates 2.1 million in the coming year.
The Index, now in its second year, is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.
The projected increase in spending would benefit businesses such as tour and travel companies, car-hire, national parks and the hotel industry.
Kenya has witnessed increased investments in the hotel sector due to the growing tourism market, including new establishments such as Radisson Blu in Nairobi’s Upper Hill, Sankara and Crown Plaza.
“We expect an increase in hotel occupancy, more jobs and benefits to businesses in the tourism market,” said Walya Wausi, the communications manager at Kenya Tourist Board.
“In addition, the noteworthy 16.7 per cent growth in projected visitor spending for Nairobi saw the city ranked in 10th position globally among the fastest growing destination cities examined in the Index,” said Mr Goredema.
The Index ranks 132 global cities by their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending.