Nairobi, March 28 (IANS) Kenya’s tourism earnings dropped marginally to $1.12 billion in 2012 from the previous year when it recorded $1.14 billion, an official said.
Minister of Tourism Dan Mwazo attributed the decline to a combination of both domestic and external factors such as politics and insecurity which was witnessed in the tourism resort region of Mombasa, reported Xinhua.
“Kenya’s tourism sector experienced a marginal decline to $1.12 billion due to the uncertainty of the general election process as well as the ongoing Eurozone economic crisis,” Mwazo said Wednesday in Nairobi.
The minister noted that total international arrivals for 2012 closed at 1.24 million compared to 1.27 million witnessed in the previous year, representing a 2.3 percent decline.
“The lowest number of international arrivals was recorded in the month of May, registering a total of 76,711 arrivals. As this is the low season for the international inbound travel, it presents a great opportunity for the local tour operations to promote domestic tourism.”
The tourism sector’s contribution to employment generation has grown by about 3 percent annually and earnings per employee have been growing by 18 percent over the last five years, according to statistics from the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Mwazo added that Europe still remains the main source region with a share of 43 percent of all tourists while Africa contributed 24 percent.
“The other regions of the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Oceania accounted for 13 percent, 12 percent, five percent and three percent respectively,” he said.
The tourism minister said that only 57 percent of key markets recorded an improvement compared to 2011. “In fact out of the country top five source markets, only the US and India showed a positive trend in 2012,” he said.