Kenya’s March 4th elections has caused the country a 7.4 percent drop in tourism, that is a total of Ksh 96 billion in just one year, financial year of 2012/2013; opposed to the 103.9 billion which was harvested in the previous financial year.
East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism secretary Phyllis Kandie said: “Incidents which contributed to the non-resumption of charters, the uncertainty surrounding the March 4 election and the Euro zone crisis led to a drop in growth.”
The elections however was not entirely to blame, she added, part of the reason of the drop was because of the weakening of the Kenyan shilling.
At the time of scrutiny a total of 1.16 million tourist (this being 112,573 less than the previous year) visited the country by air and sea. The Mombasa international airport had a decline on arrivals for up to 13 percent while Jomo Kenyatta international airport had a 8.1 percent decline.
The coast seems to have lost its chartered flights to Zanzibar, Mauritius and Seychelles in the past few months, the reason attached to it is that it is a mass market and that it lacks uniqueness.
Kenya’s main tourism markets include UK, USA, Italy and Germany, but have recorded a decline in growth that was accredited to the financial crisis and travel advisories issued prior to the general election over perceived insecurity.
In the first half of 2013, Kenya received 495,978 tourists by air and sea with the largest drop being witnessed in February and March.
“We have registered upward growth in arrivals from the month of May and we believe this is an indication that the sector is on track. The current high season has also recorded impressive bookings in or accommodation facilities,” Ms Kandie said.
She said the product would be diversified by marketing targeted cultural events along with pitching for high profile conferences.