Following a difficult end to 2020, global tourism suffered setbacks in the year 2021 as countries tightened travel restrictions in response to new virus outbreaks.
The Hon. Najib Balala never gave up. Awarded the title of a Tourism Hero by the World Tourism Network , he did what a true leader would do – he did not abandon ship.
In times of crisis, the travel and tourism industry came to a halt due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Balala was seen as a symbol of inspiration in Africa and beyond. Last year, the Kenya Secretary of Tourism, H.E. Najib Balala, was seen with the Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, H.E. Mr. Ahmed Al Khateeb, and the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, H.E. Edmund Bartlett. Kenya had invited delegates to a summit on African Tourism Recovery leading to a Saudi Arabian Initiative of leading tourism countries. Kenya is one of the founding members of the 10-nation tourism interest group led by Saudia Arabia along with Jamaica, Spain, and others. With a growing indication of hope and a new potential market, Kenya’s just-released 2021 report on the State of the Travel and Tourism industry in this East African country banks on new opportunities and steadily growing arrival numbers.
By the end of September 2021, international tourist arrivals worldwide were 20% lower than the same period in 2020, and 76% below 2019 levels (UNWTO barometer 2021). The Americas recorded the strongest results in the first 9 months of 2021, with arrivals up 1% compared to 2020 but still 65% below 2019 levels.
Europe saw an 8% decline compared to 2020, which is 69% below 2019. In Asia and the Pacific, arrivals were 95% below 2019 levels as many destinations remained closed to non-essential travel. Africa and the Middle East recorded 77% and 82% drops respectively compared to 2019. Arrivals into Kenya from African countries were as follows: Uganda 80,067
South Sudan 19,892 South Africa 18,520 DRC 15,731 Burundi 13,792 Arrivals to Kenya from the Americas: USA 136,981 Canada 13,373 Mexico 1,972 Brazil 1,208 Colombia 917 Argentina 323 Jamaica 308 Chile 299 Cuba 169 Peru 159 Arrivals to Kenya from Asia: India 42,159 China 31,610 Pakistan 21,852 Japan 2,081 S.Korea 2,052 Sri Lanka 2,022 Philipines 1,774 Bagladesh 1,235 Nepal 604 Kazakhstan 509 Arrivals to Kenya from Europe: UK 53,264 German 27,620 France 18,772 Netherland […]