Kenya’s earnings from tourism rose to 2.13 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 compared to 1.16 billion dollars in 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the state-owned Tourism Research Institute (TRI).
The TRI said that the country’s international tourist arrivals in 2022 were 1.48 million, representing a 70.45 percent increase as compared to 870,465 arrivals in 2021.
Peninah Malonza, cabinet secretary in the Ministry for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage who released the findings in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, said that the tourism sector’s performance was indicative of a gradual but sustained progress toward the pre-COVID-19 visitor arrivals numbers.
“This growth can be attributed to many source countries lessening their COVID-19 restrictions and opening for travel,” Malonza said.
Tourism is one of Kenya’s leading sources of foreign exchange alongside horticulture, tea, and Diaspora remittances, according to statistics from the government.
Malonza said that the United States was the leading source of foreign tourists with 209,360, followed closely by Uganda, Britain, and Tanzania.
She revealed that when it comes to the purpose of the visit, visitors on holiday took the lead with 36.6 percent, followed closely by those visiting friends and family at 27.8 percent of the total number of international arrivals. And the rest of the foreign tourists came to Kenya for business and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), education, sport, and medical purposes. ■