Kenya expects 3 mln foreign tourist arrivals in 2024: minister -Xinhua

Kenya expects 3 mln foreign tourist arrivals in 2024: minister

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-04 19:53:45

NAIROBI, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Kenya for 2024 is expected to reach 3 million, up from 2 million posted in 2023, Alfred Mutua, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, has said.

"The increase in numbers means more money for the country and many new jobs, especially for our youths, and business growth," Mutua said in a statement obtained by Xinhua on Thursday.

The tourism and wildlife sector is one of the largest foreign exchange earners and employers in Kenya, with 80 percent of the employees being youth.

The tourism sector is experiencing high bookings with only a few cancellations, mainly for events due to recent protests over the high cost of living, Mutua said.

In 2023, he said, the tourism sector contributed about 353 billion shillings (2.7 billion U.S. dollars) to the Kenyan economy.

This year has been on an upward trend, moving the country closer to its tourism target of earning 5.4 billion dollars per year in the next few years, Mutua said.

He said that tourism is a leisure industry that depends on a sense of security and predictability, calling for an end to protests that have been going on since a controversial Finance Bill was introduced in parliament on June 18.

"We are lucky that we have not seen a major dent or cancellation as a result of what has been happening," Mutua said. "However, if the unsettledness continues, it will have a negative impact on the sector, leading to a reduction in our earnings, possibility of loss of jobs and freezing of new opportunities especially, to graduates aiming to join the tourism and wildlife sectors for their livelihood."