The United States which is Kenya’s key source market posted 221308 in arrivals compared 205,482 in the same period last year while the United Kingdom posted 77,293 compared to 76,547 in the same period last year.
Strong performance form the US is an indication that among other factors, the direct flight to New York is having a substantial positive impact on tourism.
India and China Markets which Kenya has being eyeing to increase numbers recorded 110,649 and 77,293 compared to 116,143 and 76,547 in the same period last year. These regions accounted for half the total sum of people who toured the country.
Regionally Uganda’s arrivals grew by 3.7 per cent to 103,177 up from 99,459, it is expected that these numbers will grow following the recent launch of Uganda Airline flights to Nairobi and Mombasa. Tanzania’s numbers dropped by 14 per cent to 92,340 from 107,411.
Kenya’s domestic numbers increased from 4,154,133 in the 2018 period to 4,192502 in 2019 attributed to good air connectivity and improved infrastructure to and around tourism hotspots.
The growing interest in adventure tourism among domestic travelers, weekend getaways and holidays also played a big role in improving the domestic numbers.
The main categories of adventure activities considered are; Scuba diving, biking on nature trails, kite surfing and rock climbing.
Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) during the period showed a 4.3% growth in international revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) for airlines operating in Africa, in line with the global average. RPK growth remained solid in the quarter despite a September being slower.
Booking data on the other hand shows that international departures from Africa were up by 7% overall in January-October 2019. Departures from Africa to the Americas made a 12% increase, Asia and the Pacific made an 8% increase while the European made a 7% increase which was particularly strong.
The slow growth in some regions in Europe was attributed to global economic slowdown, trade tensions and rising geopolitical challenges, and the prolonged uncertainty about Brexit and lower business confidence that weighed on growth in international tourism.
The current political stability and heightened security are expected to support the industry’s performance going forward in 2020.