Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya is likely to earn 15 per cent more this year from tourism as the number of visitors grows by 17 to 18 per cent, the country’s tourism minister said.

The country, which relies on tourism as a source of hard currency and jobs, had 1.47 million tourists last year and earned Sh120 billion ($1.19 billion) from their visits.


The forecast was based on a growing local market and new daily, direct flights to New York by Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ, which will attract more American tourists, Najib Balala said on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, an industry event.

But he said Africa’s share of the annual global market, at about 3 per cent of the total, was not impressive. Officials on the continent want to increase its annual share of tourists to 150 million by 2030, from the current 62 million.

Along with agricultural exports and cash sent home by Kenyans living abroad, tourism is one of the top foreign exchange earners.

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