The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage has released a report of the tourism sector for the year 2022 which demonstrated a gradual rise in performance after the harrowing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While presenting the report, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peninah Malonza stated that the Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage sector has accounted for 10.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), equivalent to USD 9.6 trillion, 5.5 percent of Kenya’s formal employment and contributes to 4.2 percent of the National Gross Fixed Capital Formation.
Malonza revealed that the number of visitors to Kenya was higher than in 2021 but still lower than those in the year 2019 which makes the recovery rate at 72.4 percent against the 2019 arrivals higher than the global average of 63 percent.
The CS added that the sector is also instrumental in the social-economic wellbeing of the country’s citizens with multiplier effects in trade, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and transport among others.
“The 2022 sector performance was impressive as compared to the year 2021. International visitor arrivals in the year 2022 closed at 1,483,752 which represents a 70.45 percent increase as compared to the previous year’s arrivals of 870,465,” said Malonza.
She noted that the growth was attributed to many source countries lessening their Covid-19 restrictions and opening for travel.
The CS disclosed that the Ministry is looking forward to develop and diversify its products in the areas of flora tourism, agro tourism, aqua tourism and adventure tourism which are immensely growing globally.
Further, Malonza said that if colleges for hospitality like Utalii College are packaged well, the learners will equally get better opportunities in the global market.
“Each country should come up with funds that will aid in times of disasters and therefore various governments should be preparing on how to manage certain disasters ,” she remarked.
Malonza reiterated that if the country has to come out of poverty then everyone has to think and act differently.
At the same time, State Department for Tourism Principal Secretary (PS) John Ololtuaa highlighted the significance of the report citing the tourism industry as a critical industry in Kenya in terms of generation of income and also preserving the nation’s culture and heritage and the natural resources that God has given us.
“Therefore, everything that we do in the Tourism sector is very critical in the transformation of our country,” he stressed.
The PS added that the state department is going to scrutinize the report and ensure that it is in alignment to the Government’s manifesto which is the Bottom-up approach.
By Garvin Patrick and Maslah Bishar