It is a welcome development to learn that the government is expecting to attract more than 2.5 million tourists annually by 2022. The projection by the Tourism ministry is a 72 per cent growth on the 2017 tourist arrivals that stood at 1.14 million visitors.
That the country’s tourism industry is on the rebound is no longer in doubt. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Kenya’s travel and tourism industry is responsible for 15.2 per cent of total exports and 8.9 per cent of total employment.
We hope that even as the government sets these ambitious targets it will not forget to keep an eye on the threats facing the sensitive sector. We all know that security is a key factor in attracting visitors to the country. Our security agencies must always remain vigilant to ward off any threats.
Time has also come for the government to grow the domestic tourism sector. Our heavy reliance on the foreign tourists has previously left us exposed whenever foreign governments issue travel advisories. Kenya has a lot more to offer visitors than the current popular sites hence the need to scale up efforts to open new frontiers in the tourism sector. That is the way to go.