By Samuel Ouma
A report shows that 305,635 tourists visited Kenya between January and June 2021, decreasing from 470,971 who visited the country between January and October 2020.
According to the Tourism Research Institute report, the United States of America, Uganda, Tanzania, China and the United Kingdom are the top five market sources.
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala attributed the drop in arrivals from the United Kingdom to travel restrictions that saw Kenya on the red list.
“We are encouraged by the numbers, although we are not there yet. Because this is only a fifth of the two million visitors, we received in 2019. But we understand this is because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued, which affected the travel trends this year.
“We are still engaging and we hope these travel restrictions will be lifted not only by the UK but across the world. Meanwhile, we are still continuing to observe safe travel protocols,” said Balala.
Out of the 305,635 visitors, 94,241 visited families and friends, 92,828 meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, 87629 holiday, 15,811transit, 8,637 education, 3592 medical purposes, 1722 religious purposes and 1175 for sports.
The arrivals consisted of 209632 men and 96003 women.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Moi International Airport, Mombasa, and Wilson Airport were the major entry points in terms of air transport.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2019, the East African country received 1,718,550 visitors.