DECLINE: Tourism numbers fall sharply

21 Apr 2015 | by David Karani
DECLINE: Tourism numbers fall sharply

Terror attacks in Mandera last December and the travel advisories are expected to reduce the number of tourists visiting Kenya by 30 percent. Sources at the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) told the Gazette Weekly online that the drop in tourism numbers was attributed to security concerns and taxes introduced by counties.

The report is yet to be made official.

Last year industry players blamed insecurity for the high number of cancellations.

They reported International arrivals in the country had fallen in the first six months of 2014 to 428,585 from 495,978 in the same period in 2013.

The Kenya Tourist Federation chief executive officer Agatha Juma also predicted that the first half of 2015 would witness subdued tourist numbers but the numbers would pick up due to measures put in place to spur arrivals. Terror group al-shabaab has forced many western governments including US and Britain to warn its nationals against visiting Kenya's coast region. Mombasa is one of the biggest international attractions for tourists internationally.The UK has advised against all but essential travel to the Kenya Coast and also to “low-income areas of Nairobi” while making it clear this warning did not include or affect transit through Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi. Last June the US announced that it was evacuating some of its Nairobi embassy staff as it continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats. Tourism earned Kenya an estimated sh90 billion last year. However, the figures have been falling over the last three years as tourist find other destinations apart from Kenya.

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