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Tourist arrivals defy poll jitters to rise by 7.8pc

Tourists disembark from a dhow at Mtwapa creek in Kilifi County. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tourists disembark from a dhow at Mtwapa creek in Kilifi County. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tourism numbers grew 7.8 per cent in the 10 months to October last year, defying expectations of poor performance due to political uncertainty during Kenya’s election season.

Data from the Kenya Tourism Board shows that 786,765 international visitors landed in Kenya between January and October 2017, in comparison to the 729,682 recorded during a similar period the previous year.

These figures were especially boosted by arrivals from the United States, the largest source market for Kenya, and China. The two countries recorded 16.3 per cent and 14.1 per cent growth respectively.

Among Kenya’s top five source markets India, which is ranked third, was the only one to record a decline. International arrivals from the Asian nation fell 3.7 per cent during the period.

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