By Julie Owino
Nairobi — The travel and tourism sector in Kenya grew by 5.6% ahead of the normal global average of 3.9% contributing Sh790B towards the country’s economy and adding 1.1 million jobs .
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According to World Travel & Tourism Council report, Kenya is now positioned as the third largest tourism economy in Sub-Saharan Africa coming after South Africa and Nigeria.
International tourists have spent more than Sh157B in the country last year accounting for over 15% of total exports. United States of America was the largest inbound international market at 11%, followed by United Kingdom at 9%. India came in third position with 6%, China and Germany tying with domestic spending at 4% . Travel and Tourism contributed 8.8% of the Nation’s GDP in 2018.
World Travel & Tourism Council President and CEO Gloria Guevara said Africa is one of the great success stories of global travel as the fastest growing region in the world.
“Kenya lies at the heart of the African region a popular and renowned destination that has seen huge growth in tourism activity and value over the past one year,” she said.
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala elaborated on the gains of the sector and expressed his satisfaction on the overall achievement of the sector that contributes massively to the country’s economy.
“The gains of the sector are as a result of coordinated efforts between various arms of the government whom the tourist sector has engaged and the concerted effort in marketing Kenya as a destination of choice,” CS Balala added.