BloombergTOURISM revenue in Kenya, the country’s second-biggest foreign
exchange earner, is forecast to rise to more than 100-billion shillings
($1.2bn) this year, Muriithi Ndegwa, head of the tourism authority,
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
East Africa’s largest economy expects a lift after the
passage of peaceful elections in March eased tourists’ concern about
violence and political instability, Mr Ndegwa, Kenya Tourism Board MD,
said in Nairobi on Monday.
"We expect to surpass the 100-billion
shilling mark this year on increased visitors as a result of the
peaceful elections," he said.
Arrivals may rise 10%, he predicted.
The tourism industry is Kenya’s second-largest source of foreign
exchange revenue, following agriculture.
Tea is the country’s largest foreign-income earner.
main tourist attractions are photo safaris through the 19 national
parks and game reserves. Other attractions include the mosques at
Mombasa, the famed Great Rift Valley, the coffee plantations at Thika,
Mt Kilimanjaro and its view across the border into Tanzania, and the
attractive beaches along the Indian Ocean.
Tourism income fell to
96-billion shillings last year from 97.9-billion shillings in 2011,
while arrivals into the country were little changed at 1.78-million.
country, home to game parks including the Maasai Mara in the southwest,
and Indian Ocean beaches, has been targeting 3-million visitors by
Uhuru Kenyatta was elected president during the March 4 elections in Kenya.
Mr Kenyatta is scheduled to begin trial in November at the
International Criminal Court at The Hague on charges of crimes against
humanity for organising clashes following a disputed election in
December 2007 that left more than 1,100 people dead.
Mr Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, deny the charges.
leaders, with the backing of the African Union, have labelled the trial
a "western witch-hunt" and proposed that the trials take place in
Kenya, and not The Hague. Following the controversial 2007 presidential
election and the 2007-08 Kenyan crisis that resulted in 1,300 people
killed in tribal violence, tourism revenue plummeted 54%.
It fell to 8.08-billion shillings ($130.5m) from 17.5-billion shillings during the period January to March 2007.
has also been badly dented by the hovering threat of attacks from
al-Shabaab, which warned of retaliation for Kenya sending troops into
Somalia in 2011 to fight the militant group.
However, Kenya claims
the intervention was at the request of Somalia’s transitional
government, which although it controls little, is backed by the
Previously, Nairobi sought to keep
al-Shabaab at arm’s length by fighting a proxy war through several
southern Somali militias. Clearly this policy has not produced the
Although it has claimed many successes, the
Kenyan army has suffered some embarrassing defeats and casualties in a
war seemingly no one will win.
Travel alerts have been issued by
foreign governments including those of the US and UK after the murder
and kidnapping of foreign visitors on the country’s coast, and grenade
attacks in Nairobi and the northern region.
The bulk of visitors
to Kenya are from the West, although the country is trying hard to
encourage visitors from the continent and from Asia to visit its
pristine tourism offerings as well as cultural tourism.