Tanzania edged out the US as Kenya’s leading tourism top source market in September buoyed by its lesser Covid-19 lockdown measures, new data shows.
Rising virus cases have hampered arrivals from the world’s biggest economy after many countries, including Kenya, categorised US travellers as Covid-19 high-risk. This has forced many of them to either cancel or postpone their trips indefinitely.
This comes at a time when the US total infection, which is the highest globally, stands at more than 10 million with over 200,000 deaths.
Unlike the US, Tanzania imposed little restraints amid an economic impact caution on its citizens as well as the just concluded presidential elections that saw President John Magufuli re-elected for the second term.
Latest data from the Tourism Research Institute (TRI) shows the US trailing Tanzania at number three.
This is a significant jump from August when the country could not even appear among the top 30 source market of visitors to Kenya.
"Tanzania leads with 4,309 followed by Uganda (3,812) and US (3,458)," the data shows.
Uganda too jumped from position three it occupied in August to the second position in September.
South Africa (68), Philippines (70), Ghana (83), Spain (95), Swaziland (110), Turkey (155), Norway (167) and Pakistan (176) are countries where a few tourists visited Kenya.
As a sign of a recovery path following the resumption of both local and international flights in August, September arrivals rose to 85.2 per cent from 14,049 in August to 26,018.In March, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a dusk-to-dawn (7am to 5am) curfew, and banned international and local passenger flights. The President also restricted movement in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kilifi and Kwale counties to contain the spread of the virus.JOB LOSSESThe directive impacted Kenya’s travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Consequently, many businesses shut down, rendering hundreds jobless.The data put the purpose of visits as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions at 44.96 per cent, visiting families and friends 29.90 per cent, holiday 16.50 per cent and in-transit at 5.40 per cent."Others are medical (1.61 per cent), education (0.97 per cent), religion (0.53 per cent) and sports (0.13 per cent)," the data shows.In mid this year, Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the ministry would, for the first time, be releasing the data on travel and tourist arrivals every month as the sector slowly reopens after a five-month shutdown."The data released is invaluable to the country as it helps us to keep track of international […]