Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s tourism sector recorded a
17-percent growth in earnings in 2016, buoyed by more
overseas tourists from countries like the United States,
India and China, an official said Monday.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said Kenya
recorded 877,602 visitors last year, up from 752,073
visitors in 2015.
The minister attributed the growth and recovery of
the sector to a series of new measures to improve
security and efforts to stimulate the sector’s demand by
removing taxes, relaxing visa rules and improving
"I am happy to report that 2016 arrivals and receipts
signal better times ahead for a sector that had been
beset by insecurity and other challenges," Balala said.
The East African nation suffered a major slump in the
tourism sector after a series of terror attacks
targeting Nairobi and tourist resorts in Lamu and
Balala said the sector last year recorded revenues of
1 billion U.S. dollars, an extra 120 million dollars,
from the tourists who arrived in Kenya mostly through
the air and seaports.
According to figures released by Balala, China has
prominently grown to contribute 5 percent of all
tourists coming to Kenya, coming after Kenya’s neighbor
Another growing source of Kenya’s tourist arrivals is
other African countries, which contributed nearly 29
percent of all tourists visiting Kenya in 2016,
according to the minister.
The minister spoke during the launch of the
International Year for Sustainable Tourism for
Development, an initiative of the UN World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO), to promote sustainable tourism
across the country’s vast wildlife parks and
"We are a leader in tourism. We confirmed our
credentials in environmental conservation by burning 100
tonnes of ivory to make a statement against poaching,"
Kenya, the minister said, relied upon the
preservation of nature to meet the demands of 80 percent
of Kenyan tourists.
Kenya to promote
home stays in new tourism package
by Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI
(Xinhua) -- Kenya will begin
the promotion of home stays in a new tourism package
aiming to boost sustainable growth and environmental
conservation, an official said Monday.
Cabinet Secretary of Tourism Ministry Najib Balala
said the home stays, promotion of cultural troupes and
large-scale sale of community-produced artistic work
would become the hallmarks of efforts to promote green
"We are committed to the sustainability labels in our
tourism products," Balala said when launching Kenya’s
celebrations to the 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism for
Development in Nairobi.
The East African nation is emphasizing home stays as
a tourism approach to lend more efforts to the
preservation of local cultures, which it hopes would
continue to act as a motivator to tourists to visit
Kenyan officials have emphasized the need to conserve
wildlife and marine resources.
"We plan to launch several activities as we celebrate
the innovative tourism.
"We believe a well-managed tourism sector would place
green growth at our disposal and help us to better
manage the effects of climate change," said Principal
Secretary of Tourism Ministry Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed.
Kenyan officials said the implementation of measures
to improve sustainable tourism was crucial in enabling
the country to attract investments to conserve forests
and other facilities that back tourism.