Editorials

Look inward for tourists

TOURISMSECTOR

Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala during the release of the tourism sector performance 2021 report and projections for 2022, at the Nairobi Serena Hotel yesterday. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

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Summary

  • High demand for accommodation and visits among domestic tourists at hotels, coastal beaches and parks saw tourism earnings jump 65 percent to Sh146.51 billion last year, from Sh88.56 billion in 2020.
  • The sector, which is among Kenya's top foreign exchange earners, is yet to recover to the pre-Covid levels when it made Sh163.6 billion and registered 2.04 million tourists in 2019.

Covid must open the tourism industry’s eyes to the opportunities in targeting more Kenyans.

High demand for accommodation and visits among domestic tourists at hotels, coastal beaches and parks saw tourism earnings jump 65 percent to Sh146.51 billion last year, from Sh88.56 billion in 2020.

The sector, which is among Kenya's top foreign exchange earners, is yet to recover to the pre-Covid levels when it made Sh163.6 billion and registered 2.04 million tourists in 2019. But the latest performance has proved that the there is value in the sector looking more within.

Kenya should build up on this momentum to lift the sector that has taken a huge hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourist hotels should consider more attractive pricing and develop products that will encourage more Kenyans to travel.

Tourist arrivals through airports and border points also increased 53.3 percent to 870,465 from 567,848.

Covid-19 has been a big eye opener for the tourism industry on the need to diversify the sources of visitors. The industry cannot rely on foreigners alone and must now aggressively focus on offering more appealing products to Kenyans.