22 December 2012

Kenya: Tourism Earnings for 2012 Likely to Drop - KTB Chief

KENYA is likely to have flat growth or slight decline in tourism earnings for 2012 owing to various factors that have negatively impacted the industry in 2012, according to the Kenya Tourism Board.

KTB and Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers have said that while the December bookings have been boosted by domestic tourists, the total visitor traffic has not been as good as last year.

Last year, the tourism industry netted Sh98 million, a 32 per cent increment from the previous year. Players in the industry had already projected a tough year for business in 2012 owing to the security threats in some parts of the country, politicking season ahead of the March general elections and the ongoing eurozone crisis.

Consequently, KTB has said it will step up marketing campaigns to sustain domestic tourism which holds up the industry in times of low international visitor turnout, managing director Muriithi Ndegwa said yesterday.

Ndegwa noted that December is recording good local visitor turnout in key tourist destinations in the country but added that the visitor traffic ought to be sustained the entire year to grow the industry.

"The lake Victoria area, North and South Coast, and Naivasha we are being told that hotels are full, others almost full in these places. This December if you look at the visitor split, domestic has been the majority," said Ndegwa.

Ndegwa was speaking at a Nairobi hotel yesterday at a luncheon to celebrate KTB being named the best tourism marketing body in Africa at last week's World Travel Awards that were held in India.

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