Number of tourists coming to Kenya via Mombasa up by 8.6%

Tourists having fun at Diani beach during Christmas festive season.Tourism stakeholders in Malindi have expressed optimism that the international market will pick up in November BRIVIAN SIMIYU

The Coastal region of Kenya continues to be a tourist destination point for many around the world and this shows in the 8.56 per cent increase of number of international tourists who came into the country through Mombasa in 2019.

By the end of 2019, Moi International Airport in Mombasa had registered 128,222 international tourists compared to 118,113 registered in 2018.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi registered 1,423,971 compared to 1,342,513 international tourists in 2018, a 6.07 per cent growth.

The total number of international visitors through all points of entry i.e other airports and other entry points; in the year 2019 was 2,048,834. A slight year on year increase of about 1.167 per cent compared to 2018 which registered 2,025,206.

In terms of nationalities visiting the country, our neighbours Ugandans and Tanzanians came in second and third respectively with 223,010 tourists from Uganda and 193,740 from Tanzania.

United States of America had the most number of tourists visiting Kenya at 245,437 with Philippines closing the top 50 with 4,322 tourists.

International tourism earned Kenya sh.163.6 billion in 2019, a 3.9 percent growth from sh.157.4 billion in 2018.Domestic tourism in 2019 amounted to 4,955,800 bednights. This represents a 10.4 per cent growth from 4,489,000 bednights in 2018.

Ease of doing business was among key drivers of tourism in 2019.

“The latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business report shows that in 2019, Kenya improved five positions to 56 globally on attractiveness to investors up from 61 in 2018,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during the release of the Tourism Sector Performance Report 2019.