One of the great wonders of the world, the annual migration across the Maasai Mara-Serengeti national parks in Kenya and Tanzania is already underway, starting earlier than expected. But the millions of wildebeest crossing the Mara River are not the only important annual migration in Kenya. Tourism to Kenya is booming.
The number of tourists coming to Kenya increased in 2016 by 16.1% on the previous year and according to a report released at the end of last week by the World Travel and Tourism Council the tourist sector is expected to grow by six per cent per year for the next ten years, creating as many as 500,000 new jobs.
Tourism in Kenya now contributes Sh700 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), more than mining, manufacturing and automotive production combined. Although the Banking and Financial services sectors may add even more to GDP, tourism supports three times as many jobs as the former and twice as many as the latter.
Tourism is now estimated to be directly and indirectly responsible for 1.1 million jobs in Kenya (2016 figures), some 9.2% of the total labour force.
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
From January to the end of April this year it has been the British tourists who have led the way to Kenya, surpassing in number the Americans. Over those four months more than 34,000 Brits have come to Kenya, an increase of 18% on last year. Over the same period the number of visitors from the US also grew by 16.4%.
With the delights of Lamu and Diani Beach on the coast, to the Maasai Mara and the other national parks, and the Nairobi National Park on our doorstep, it’s perhaps no surprise that so many people want to come to Kenya. Let’s make them welcome.