Friday, 16 July 2021 18:05

Kenya Received 305,635 International Arrivals Between Jan To June 2021, A Drop Blamed On COVID

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NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15 – Kenya received 305,635 international arrivals between January to June 2021.

Data from the Tourism Research Institute shows that 96,003 were female and 209,632 male.

The figure is a drop from the 470,971 international visitors who arrived in the country between January and October 2020 and a further decrease from the total 1,718,550 visitors who arrived in the country in 2019.

The Ministry of Tourism agency indicated that the top five source markets are the United States of America (49,178), Uganda (31,418), Tanzania (31,291), China (18,069), and the United Kingdom (16,264).

January and June saw the highest arrivals at 40,003 and 40,842 respectively

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, in a statement, noted that the United States of America accounted for 11.12 percent market share while Tanzania’s market share was 10.48 percent.

“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,” he said.

Balala further noted that arrivals from the United Kingdom dropped due to the effects of the unfair travel restrictions which saw Kenya placed on the red list.

Between January to October 2020, UK was the fourth destination while China which was at number 10 rose to position four.

“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,” Balala added.

The majority of the visitors came to visit family and friends (94,241), for meetings, incentives, and conferences, (92,828), and for holidays (87,629).

Another 15,811 were on transit, 8,637 for education, 3,592 for medical purposes, 1,722 for
religious purposes, and 1,175 for sports.

The Ministry had previously indicated that these numbers indicate that only essential travel are happening in the wake of the pandemic.

The major points of entry in terms of air transport were Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,  Moi International Airport, Mombasa, and Wilson Airport.

Source: Capital News

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