Kenya tourism industry on growth path

Kenya's tourism and hotel industry is growing faster in the sub-Sahara Africa, Africa Resort International chief executive officer Ainsley Dancombe said on Friday.

Speaking in Nairobi, Dancombe said the Kenyan government has revolutionised service provision which he said has made it easy for investors to operate with ease.

“I’m happy with the progress being made by the government. Kenya represents a bright spot in sub-Saharan Africa as an investment hub for both local and foreign investors,”he said.

He said Kenya has a vibrant and innovative people calling on other investors to take advantage of it to establish business in Kenya.

“ Kenya is the gateway to Africa and the potential for growth in the country is exponential. M-Pesa does more local transactions in a month than the global money transfer giant, Western Union does in a year and that really gives you perspective in terms of what's possible to be done in this great country,” he said.

He added: “ Kenya is without doubt the most fun location to operate a business, partners and colleagues are very proactive there is a real collectives towards a common goal working towards making things better.”

Dancombe who has been operating his business from Nairobi said he is now eyeing opening another one in Watamu, Kwale county, connecting the move to good business environment.

“We have been operating out of our current Nairobi office for well over 3 years now and one of the things we have noticed is a much higher number of clients walking in to our office and also we are getting about 5-7 referrals per week which has increased from 2-3 per week when we launched,” he noted.

Kenya is currently the third largest tourism economy in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

In a statement, the ministry said Last year, travel and tourism grew by 5.6 per cent to contribute Sh790 billion and 1.1 million jobs to the Kenyan economy.

This, it said beats the average global growth of 3.9 per cent and the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 3.3 per cent.

With over two million international arrivals, international tourists spent over Sh 157 billion in Kenya last year, accounting for over 15 per cent of total exports. The largest inbound international markets were the USA, UK, India, China and Germany at 11, 9, 6, 4 and 4 per cent respectively.

Source: The Star