Kenya registered a 37.7 per cent spike in international tourist arrivals in last year, attributed to a calm political climate that succeeded the electioneering period experienced in 2017.
There were 2.03 million foreign visitors in 2018 compared to 1.47 million that crossed the Kenyan borders, Tourism and Wildlife cabinet secretary Najib Balala said.
He attributed the improvement to rigorous marketing campaigns and inter-county governments partnership.
“The gains of the sector were as a result of coordinated efforts between various arms of government, whom the tourism sector has engaged, as well as the concerted efforts in marketing Kenya as a destination of choice,” said Mr Balala when he released the latest tourism data at State House, Mombasa.
East African countries, United States, United Kingdom, India and China propped up the Kenyan tourism market with substantial increase in numbers, accounting for half the total sum of people who toured the country.
There were 212,216 tourists from Tanzania during the period under review, a 722 per cent increase from the 25,800 recorded in 2017. This signals abated frosty relationship the two states have experienced over the past years.
Uganda posted a 231 per cent increase in numbers of its citizen visiting Kenya to 204, 082 in 2018. USA increased its number of tourists to the country by 96.6 per cent to register 225,157.
There were 125,032 Indian tourists in 2018, a 95 per cent jump, and 81709 Chinese tourists compared to 53,485 that visited Kenya in 2017.
The improved numbers of visitors saw the tourism industry post Ksh157.3 billion in revenue in 2018, a 31.3 per cent increase from the previous year.