The total international arrival by air and sea for the FY 2018/19 closed at 2,027,223 up from 1,488,370 in FY 2017/18, indicating a growth of 36.2%.

  1. JKIA recorded arrivals for the period closed at 1,376,263 up from 848,521 illustrating a growth of 62.2%
  2. MIAM recorded arrivals for the period closed at 129,346 up from 119,910 in FY 2017/18 illustrating a growth of 29.6%
  3. Other Airports arrivals recorded in the period was 26,152.
  4. The Cross Border figures for FY 2018/19 closed at 495,462 up from 517,157 indicating a decline of -4.2%.

Market share

In terms of purpose of travel, holiday is the major reason for travel into Kenya, taking a share of 71.2% of the total arrivals. Business and Conference contributed 14.4% of the arrivals in 2017/18. Business and Conference travel is on a growth path into the destination and this illustrates Kenya’s visitor confidence for commerce. Visit Family and Friends contributed 6.4%. On Transit passengers contributed 4.4% of the total arrivals. Other Purposes (Religion and Volunteering, Sports, Study and Not Stated) contributed the remaining 3.6%.

In terms of share of arrivals, USA is the leading source market contributing 11.5% of the total arrivals with 232,703. The 2nd position is Uganda taking a share of 10.5% with 213,789. Tanzania closely follows with a share of 10.2% with 207,361 arrivals. 4th is UK with a share of 8.8% with 179,384 arrivals. India is 5th with 6.2% of the arrivals with 126,628.

The destination recorded a double-digit increase in FY 2018/19, after already strong growth in arrivals in 2018. Support to improve security and an increase in air connectivity with major overseas markets, especially China, Italy and the United States, have led to a significant growth in arrivals into the destination. 

Performance by Port of Entry 

The percentage share for the entry into the destination is illustrated by the table and pie chart below. JKIA recorded 1,376,263 which translates to 68% to the total arrivals into the destination. Cross border is 2nd with 495,462 which is 24% of the arrivals, MIAM is 3rd with 129,346 (6%) and other airport facilitated the arrival of 26,152 (1%). Key developments in the aviation sector during FY 2018/19 included improved services at JKIA, introduction of direct flights between Nairobi and New York, return of Air France flights and introduction of Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Mombasa. The open border policy which allows for African citizens to apply for their visas upon arrival has also improved the numbers coming from the regional market through the boarder points and airports.

point of entry

The monthly international visitor arrivals through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in 2017/18 vs FY 2018/19 is presented in the figure below. JKIA achieved the Category One status from The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allowed for direct flights between Kenya and the US and this has.

Passenger traffic and tourism worldwide is growing exponentially and for the destination to realize its targets of 2.8 million tourists by 2023, then Nairobi’s position as a gateway to the region has to be aggressively highlighted through investment put towards upgrading JKIA to position of competing with other world top class airports eg Chubu Centrair International Airport, Munich Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Zurich Airport etc.

  July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun TOTAL
JKIA 18/19 141,763 145,231     114,539    115,597    103,229    115,856    112,460    107,060    93,082    102,981    102,981    121,484    1,376,263
JKIA 17/18      97,955      79,053        78,329      56,034      61,617      90,745      61,137      70,169    61,652      49,388      70,981      71,461       848,521
% CHANGE 44.7 83.7 46.2 106.3 67.5 27.7 83.9 52.6 51.0 108.5 45.1 70.0 62.2



The monthly international visitor arrivals through Moi International Airport Mombasa (MIAM) in 2017/18 vs FY 2018/19 is presented in the figure below. The improvement in passenger numbers at MIAM can be attributed to the charter incentive program which – because of the success – has been reviewed and extended to 2020. In addition, discussions are being undertaken to expand the program to also entice schedule flights and international low cost carriers into the program which will further improve the performance.


Performance by Regions

During the period of FY 2018/19 global tourism performance has been positive and the outlook for the coming period is of optimistic expectation according to UNWTO. The drivers which can be attributed to this positive results in the FY2018/19 are: favorable economic environment in the source markets, strong outbound demand from major source markets, consolidation of the recovery in key destinations affected by previous crises, enhanced connectivity and increased visa facilitation.

Jul- Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total % Share
ASIA 146,515 21,664 17,922 18,530 19,579 21,431 23,510 269,151 13.28
MIDDLE EAST 8,384 1,423 1,481 1,290 1,459 1,165 1,733 16,935 0.84
AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN 445,428 68,277 55,834 62,092 67,528 64,882 65,187 829,228 40.90
AMERICAS 154,019 23,253 20,420 20,748 17,337 24,066 33,702 293,545 14.48
OCEANIA 18,053 2,938 1,874 1,727 1,693 1,797 2,906 30,988 1.53
EUROPE 325,262 54,862 54,505 42,143 38,931 31,561 40,112 587,376 28.97
TOTAL 1,097,661 172,417 152,036 146,530 146,527 144,902 167,150 2,027,223 100.00