The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard on Kenya’s tourism sector. Hotels shut down and thousands of employees sent home and the pandemic gained momentum.
President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed cessation of movement in and out of Kenya both by air and by water in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
But as the cases began to go down, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced some new measures that included “opening up the economy” by allowing flights in and out of the country.
The Ministry of Tourism says following the resumption of international flights, Kenya received 14,049 tourists in August, a 91 percent drop compared to the same month in 2019.
Of the total number, 6,368 tourists (45 percent) came to Kenya to visit friends and families after the lockdown. 6,685 of the tourists were in the country for a holiday.
The tourism sector in Kenya started the resumption of services gradually as various measures were put in place in line with the guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A total of 2,335 of the visitors were in the country for business while 1,129 were in Kenya on transit to other countries. The Ministry of Tourism says that the numbers are expected to rise as the economy continues to bloom.
Going forward, the Ministry of Tourism will be releasing data on tourists visiting the country on a monthly basis in order to track the development in the sector within the pandemic.
A total of 13,239 tourists arrived in Kenya through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), followed by Moi International Airport with 645, and Wilson Airport at 154. Wajir Airport received one international tourist.
2,768 tourists came from the United States of America (USA) while 2,469 visitors came from the United Kingdom. Uganda brought in Kenya 506 visitors. As Kenya Airways resumes flights to Tanzania, it is expected that the number of visitors from the country will rise.