NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s international tourists arrivals are projected to jump by
about five percent in 2019, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told
journalists in Nairobi that the tourism sector will not experience the 37
percent year on year growth witnessed in 2018 due to a number of challenges.
"We are projecting only a slight growth in the number of international
arrivals by the end of 2019 fueled by intensified marketing efforts in key
source markets," Balala said during the launch of the partnership between
Express Travel Group and Travel Leaders Group to form Travel Leaders Kenya.
Balala noted that in 2018 Kenya experienced a rate of growth of the tourism
sector that is faster than the global average of 3.9 percent and the Sub-Saharan
Africa average of 3.3 percent.
"This makes Kenya the third largest tourism economy in Sub-Saharan Africa
after South Africa and Nigeria, both of which grew substantially less than Kenya
in 2018," he added.
Kenya’s international tourists arrivals stood at 2.03 million in 2018.
The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has set a target of attracting 2.5
million international tourists annually by the end of 2024 and 3 million by
According to Balala, Kenya is a long haul destination for international
travelers in the main tourist source countries in Europe and North America.
"As such we cannot achieve in the short term high tourists number like Egypt
and Morocco that are close to Europe," he added.
Kenya Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge
Railway promoting beach tourism
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is
promoting beach tourism along the Indian Ocean shores, a senior government said
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary, ministry of tourism and wildlife told
journalists in Nairobi that the Mombasa to Nairobi railway line has reduced the
cost of travel to the port of Mombasa.
"Since the completion of the SGR, we have seen a surge of local and
international tourists visiting the coastal beach of Mombasa," Balala said
during the launch of the partnership between Express Travel Group and Travel
Leaders Group to form Travel Leaders Kenya.
Balala revealed that the SGR has increased the travel options for visitors
seeking to tour the coastal region.
"Previously tourists had to contend with high cost of air travel or the
unreliable road transport network," he added.
The 480 km SGR line built by Chinese from Nairobi to Mombasa was launched in
2017 while the construction of the 120 km Nairobi to Naivasha section which is
also funded by the Chinese is almost complete.
Balala said that once the SGR is complete, it will open up the western
tourism circuit which is largely unexploited due to high cost of transport and
lack of public awareness of the rich cultural heritage in the region.
"Through the use of SGR, we hope to expand the tourism sector by making all
parts of the country accessible to both domestic and foreign tourists," he
The government official noted that Kenya’s main tourism products are the
beach tourism and the safari product which largely attract high-end clientele.
Kenya to promote green tourism to enhance
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya
plans to promote the green tourism sector in order to enhance its
sustainability, the tourism regulator said on Thursday.
Kipkorir Lagat, director general of Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA), told
a forum in Nairobi that tourism is a very fragile industry that depends on
nature to provide services to its clients.
"We will work closely with tourism stakeholders to enable the sector adopt
measures to conserve natural resources and reduce their green house gas
emissions," Lagat said during the stakeholders forum of the retail industry and
the Tourism Fund.
He said that the government already offers tax incentives for hotels that
have green buildings and use renewable sources of energy.
"Solar equipment for heating is also exempt from Value Added Tax," he said.
TRA noted that environmental sustainability is now a key pillar of the
tourism sector given the growing number of domestic and foreign tourists
visiting the country.
Government data indicates that approximately 2 million visitors entered Kenya
in 2018, up from 1.4 million the previous year.
Lagat added that Kenya also hopes to cash in on the growing number of
tourists who seek eco-friendly destinations.
Last week, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a ban on single use
plastics in national parks and beaches beginning in June 2020.
The tourism regulator noted that environmentally friendly policies such as
use of biodegradable products and recycling could help make the tourism sector