While everyone seems to be worried and not that optimistic about the state of Kenya’s tourism industry and the effect the security woes have had on the industry, a US-based think tank is very confident that Kenya’s tourism industry will perform better and have higher earnings than it did last year.
DaMina Advisors, the think tank, has found “a number of positive structural factors” that will spur growth, and estimates from the World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts a modest improvement amid setbacks.
The firm released a note last Tuesday based on research carried out before the Mpeketoni attacks at the coast of Kenya which says that it expects the sector to be supported by a weak currency, well diversified tourism offerings and slashed taxes on airline tickets.
According to DaMina new single Kenya safari tourist visa, the use of National Identity Cards for travel across the region and the anti-terror policies that the government of Kenya is employing will help stabilise the sector and prevent further decline.
Patrick Malone, a graduate research fellow with the firm, wrote in the note that domestic spending is also expected to grow by 4.6 per cent, as Kenya’s economy expands even in the face of the recent terror attacks.
According to DaMina, travel and tourism jobs will likely remain fairly steady at 225,500, despite about 4,000 jobs that were lost along the Coast when the UK issued travel advisories against Kenya.
The note said that WTTC estimates that travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product will grow by 2.9 per cent, “rising from $2.09 billion (Sh183.1 billion) to $2.14 billion (Sh187.5 billion) by the end of 2014”.
Kenya plans to attract 1,377,000 international tourists in 2014, according to WTTC. The firm said that domestic and international business travel rates have consistently grown by six per cent and 12 per cent respectively, while global luxury hotel brands have expanded operations to Nairobi over the past two years. This positive outlook reflect a more diversified Kenyan tourism industry and gives hope for increase in tourism activity in Kenya such as Africa safaris, and holidays.
It said growth of business, conference, and sport tourism will contribute significantly to the industry’s resilience. DaMina stated a number of factor that will support growth of Kenya’s tourism industry however the attacks in Mpeketoni which happened after the think tank was long done with its research make the situation in Kenya unpredictable both concerning security and tourism.