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Balala urges partnerships as half-year tourist numbers shrink to 921,000

Last year (2018), the country earned Sh157 billion from the sector compared with Sh119.9 billion in 2017. During the period, the country received 2,025,206 tourists, up from 1,474,671 international arrivals in the previous year.

Partnerships among stakeholders in the tourism sector could play a key role in lifting tourist numbers which registered a slight drop of a 0.7 per cent in the last six months of the year compared to the same period last year.

Latest figures released Thursday by the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry shows that the country received 921,090 tourists up to June compared with 927,797 visitors in a corresponding period last year.

Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says despite the slight drop, the numbers are encouraging and expressed optimism that the sector will still hit its full-year target – sighting collaborations and partnerships as some of the key ingredients that can boost the sector.

Last week Tourism CS Balala said that the interminable political bickering could also have a demoralizing effective on tourism sector, urging politicians to “tone down” their political indifferences if the country’s key sectors such as tourism are to thrive.

“Handshake has immensely contributed to the growth of tourism sector, but now what needs to happen is the ongoing political undertones, which we believe should come down,” said Balala on Wednesday last week.

The political temperatures have been rising by the day.  In fact, were it not that 2022 is a calendar year, visitors to Kenya would be excused to think that 2022 is the name of a popular person or place or even food.

He says recent partnerships such as the pact between Express Travel Group, one of East Africa’s premier travel management companies and Leaders Network, North America’s largest travel agency organization with more than 42,000 travel advisors, as part of a major expansion of Travel Leaders’ international presence.

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