Tourism revenue grew by 47%


Tourism revenue grew by 47%

Cabinet Secretary for Wildlife and Tourism Najib Balala. IMAGE | NYAU SALATON | NMG

Net income from tourism jumped 47 percent in the first quarter of this year as the slowdown that hit the industry over the past two years eased.

The latest figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) show that tourism account receipts jumped from 15.2 billion shillings in the first quarter of 2021 to 22.4 billion shillings between January and March of this year.

Revenue jumped as the number of visitors arriving through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport rose 85.1 percent from 121,739 in the first quarter of 2021 to 225,321 visitors in the first quarter of 2022.

A strong recovery in the tourism industry has led to a recovery in the economy, with accommodation and catering services up 56.2% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to a 33% decline due to increased tourist numbers as Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

KNBS data shows that gross domestic product increased 6.8% in the first quarter, compared to a 2.7% growth in the same period last year.

“The figures were supported by the recovery of most economic activities, which declined significantly in the first quarter of 2021 due to measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19,” KNBS said in a statement.

Kenya’s tourism sector has rebounded with a sharp decline in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, prompting the government to loosen coronavirus restrictions by lifting mandatory face mask requirements in outdoor areas and lifting lockdown measures.

This led the US to ease travel restrictions on Kenya following a decline in Covid-19 cases, boosting the recovery of the country’s tourism sector.

Kenya has been promoted to Tier One from Tier Three, requiring US citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to a destination and reconsider any planned travel.

The downgrade to Tier One boosts summer bookings from the country that accounted for the largest share of foreign visitors to Kenya last year, at 136,981.

The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya has been steadily declining as the number of people vaccinated rises.

Some of the hotels closed during the pandemic have reopened and industry hiring resumed as demand surged.

The iconic Fairmont The Norfolk hotel in Nairobi has reopened after the facility was closed for more than 21 months due to the coronavirus crisis.

Kenya is also seeing growth in the expansion of some hotel chains, with local hotel group PrideInn signing an agreement to operate a third Azure Hospitality Group-owned hotel at the Signature Mall on the highway in Mombasa called PrideInn Plaza.

Sarova Hotels also signed a seven-year lease for Kisumu’s Imperial Hotel with the Gilani family, under which it will be rebranded as Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu and refurbished into 93 refurbished guest rooms, including suites, new meeting rooms, and improved food and beverage beverages…


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