Kenya is the most developed country in East Africa and it became one of the continent most popular tourist destinations due to its wide range of tourism resources. (Boniface, 2012) Game reserves and national parks which cover about 8% of Kenya with the big five, pristine beaches, rich culture and vibrant cities make great mix of attractions and activities for all kinds of travellers.
Tourism industry has faced many problems in past few years due to political instability, threat of terrorism and poaching but the government of Kenya has taken these problems seriously and tourism industry is slowly recovering.
In the world of mobilities where people, capital, information and ideas move constantly (Urry, 2006) Kenya is place where traveller can forget the hurry. Modern travellers appreciate more experiences than the quality of service and Kenya is the right country for experiences. Travellers are consuming experiences and travel agencies are trying to provide those to them. We have moved from industrial and service economy to new experience economy (Pine, Gilmore. 1998)
This webpage is created to raise awareness of Kenya’s wonderful opportunities for tourism and events industry. Savannahs, deserts, mountains, beaches, coral reefs and the colourful culture give more opportunities for businesses than many other countries in the world.
1.1 Aim of the website:
• To investigate the opportunities of tourism and event industry of Kenya.
• To raise awareness about Kenya as tourist destination.
2. Travel flows:
2.1. International tourism
The figure 1 highlights that the total amount of international tourist arrivals and tourist receipts has been declining in the past years dramatically.
Figure 2 shows us that majority of tourist, business and transit arrivals come from Europe. While amount of visitors from Europe has been declining fast, the amount of visitors coming from other continents has been rising. Specially the amount of Asians and Africans tourists has been growing fast.
Figure 3 is showing us the direct, indirect and induced effects of tourism to the GDP. Tourism has been contributing around 10% of the whole economy’s GDP and it is not estimated to grow much.
Figure 4 highlights the contribution to GPD of business and leisure travellers.
While amount of holiday visitors from Europe has dropped by 40% due to political instability and threat of terrorism, the amount of holiday visitors from other continents has been rising. Even the raise of visitors from other continents hasn’t saved Kenya’s tourism industry from the drop of 25% of visitors in last few years. (Telegraph, 2015)
As we can see from figure 2, the main tourist generating countries are United Kingdom, United States and Germany. Main generating continents are still Europe and Africa.
2.2. Domestic tourism
Figure 6 shows us that over 53% hotel nights spend in Kenya during 2015 came from residents of Kenya.
Figure 7 highlights that 59% of industry’s contribution to GDP comes from domestic visitors.
The importance of domestic tourism has been growing in last few years due to drop of international arrivals. The government of Kenya has recognised the importance of domestic tourism and it has been launching numerous campaigns to promote domestic travel. The plan is to entourage Kenyan tourists to travel inside the country and the tourism ministry has asked hotels to offer affordable packages to the local market. According to the Kenyan Tourism Board the tourism industry is able to fully recover in two years. (Ngugi, 2016)
3.1. Getting there:
The two main international airports in Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi and Moi in Mombasa are connecting Kenya to destinations around the globe. Other airports such as Eldoret, Kisumu and Wilson are offering some international routes but mostly domestic and cargo flights. (KAA)
Jomo Kenyatta international airport is the busiest airport in East Africa while working as one of the main gateways to East and Central Africa. Over 40 passenger airlines and 25 cargo airlines are operating in the airport. (KAA)
Moi international airport is handling over 18 airlines flying directly from Europe and it offers connections to over 20 cities in the region. (KAA)
3.2 Getting around:
Cheapest way to travel around Kenya is using Matatus (shared taxis) or bus. The fares are typically around Ksh3-5/km (£0,024-0,039/km). The fares are changing depending on the price of fuel. The public transportation has bad safety record. (Rough Guides 2016)
It is also possible to rent car with or without the driver. Renting four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary when travelling outside of the cities due to poor roads. While travelling to national parks and remote areas hiring a driver is highly advised. (Rough Guides 2016)
Domestic flights and chartering a plane
Domestic flights connect main cities and towns to the national parks. Chartering a plane is possible for bigger groups. (Rough Guides 2016)
Third biggest town in Kenya located at the shore of Lake Viktoria. Most travellers come here for the relaxed atmosphere and to experience the nature and culture in Kisumu and the small villages and islands around. The port used to be one of Kenya’s busiest but nowadays it is mostly serving passengers and some commercial shipping to Uganda and Tanzania. (Rough Guides 2016)
Lamu cultural festival
Annual week long festival to celebrate the culture of Lamu island. Many competitions such as dhow sailing and donkey race are held. (Magical Kenya, 2016)
Maralal Camel Derby
Annual event held near Maralal town. Kenya’s best known event attracting competitors all around the world. (Magical Kenya, 2016)
Lake Turkana Festival
Annual festival held to celebrate the rich cultures of the tribes who live around Lake Turkana. (Magical Kenya, 2016)