Industry

How focus on high-yield visitors is stunting Kenya's domestic tourism

Tourists from Germany and Holland at Amani Tiwi Beach Resort at the  South Coast . FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tourists from Germany and Holland at Amani Tiwi Beach Resort at the South Coast . FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Except for brief pauses in election years, Kenya’s investment in tourism facilities has been on the rise since 2003, even when overall visitor numbers have not kept the pace.

Government statistics show that despite overall tourist arrivals falling in the past five years (excluding 2016, when the trend shifted), total bed capacity has kept growing.

Both arrivals and revenue figures fell consistently between 2011 and 2015, as terror attacks and the consequent advisories against travel to Kenya took a toll on the sector.

In 2011, total arrivals peaked at 1,785,382, falling by 33.8 per cent to 1,180,546 in 2015.