Nairobi — The coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the Tourism sector in the country, leading to a 72 percent decline in international arrivals.
According to statistics released on Tuesday by Tourism Research Institute, only 470, 971 international arrivals were recorded from January to October this year compared to 1,718, 550 arrivals recorded in the same period last year.
At the same time, the sector, experienced a 74 percent loss in revenue in direct international tourism receipts for 2020 translating to a Sh37billion loss against projected revenue of Sh147.5 billion for the review period.
The loss of revenue was mainly attributed to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, particularly due to the closure of the international airspace in April until August.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the situation will improve once the vaccines being developed are readily available and called for its distribution without discrimination.
"We are not out of the woods yet, but we are optimistic the situation will gradually improve once the vaccines being developed become readily available to the masses. The whole World will be safe only when everybody is vaccinated. So, we should encourage the mass distribution of the vaccines once they are ready without discrimination," Balala said.
He further noted that the country was experiencing a gradual increase in international arrivals since the resumption of international flights on August 1st.
"We registered 14,049 arrivals in August, 26,018 in September, and 39,894, in October, respectively. This is an indication of steady growth of travel confidence and trust for the Magical Kenya destination," said Balala.
Of those who visited the country, 35.32 percent were visiting friends and families, 35.11 percent came for business and only 19.92 percent visited the country for holiday.
Majority of the travelers came from Uganda, followed by the United States of America, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and India.
The tourism sector is one of the sectors that are worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic following the ban on international travels when coronavirus was announced in March this year.
By December 2, the country had recorded 85,130 coronavirus cases with 1484 deaths and 54,464 recoveries.