Tourism earnings rose 83 percent in 2022, attributed to a global recovery in the sector and campaigns boosting international events in Kenya.
According to Tourism Secretary Peninah Malonza, the sector booked Sh268.09 billion compared to Sh146.51 billion in 2021.
The earnings jumped as visitors’ arrivals last year rose by 70.5 percent to 1,483,752 from 870,465 the previous period.
International travel and tourism were among the hardest hit by Covid-19 since 2020 and had been projected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.
The last year’s receipts and inbound tourists are yet to reach 2019 levels at Sh296.20 billion with 2,048,834 visitors.
Globally, tourism recorded 63 percent growth in 2022, but still below 2019 figures.
“Kenya witnessed a tremendous improvement in the year 2022, and is today on the right track in bouncing back from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage CS Peninah Malonza.
“The arrivals represent a 72.4 percent recovery towards 2019 numbers, which is above the global average recovery rate (63 percent).”
Visitors on holiday posted the highest growth at 36.6 percent, with those visiting family and friends at 27.8 percent. Business and meetings incentives convention and exhibitions (MICE) recorded 27.2 percent of the total visits.
The United States took the top position with 209,360 visitors last year, representing 16 percent.
Uganda followed with 12 percent, while the United Kingdom and Tanzania registered 10 percent of the total visitors each.
“Initiatives such as destination campaigns both locally and internationally, hosting of international events such as Magical Kenya Ladies Open, 9th Africities Summit in Kisumu, sector initiatives and innovations, and the new Kenya tourism strategy 2022-2025 are what have made the performance improvement possible,” said Ms Malonza.