ARUSHA, 30 December 2020 – Tanzania claimed the position of top tourism source market to Kenya, according to tourism arrival data for September 2020.
No fewer than 4,309 tourists arrived Kenya from Tanzania, according to the Tourism Research Institute of Kenya.
Uganda claimed second position, accounting for 3,812 tourism arrivals.
The United States fell to third position, accounting for 3,458 international tourism arrivals to Kenya in September 2020.
Tanzania was third after the United States and Uganda in 2019 with a total of 193,740 visitors.
Arrivals from the United States in 2019 were 245,437 visitors, ahead of second-placed Uganda at 223,010 Ugandan tourism visitors
Local tourism promoters in Tanzania have recommended that the figures be taken with a grain of salt.
Walter Maeda, a hotel operator based in Arusha, Tanzania, suggested that some of the international tourism arrivals from Tanzania to Kenya may be members of the expatriate community who left Tanzania for Kenya to avoid COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns.
Before the outbreak of the new coronavirus, tourism was the leading economic sector in terms of hard currency earnings in the six-nation East African Community (EAC).
EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Tourism contributed an average 12 percent to the GDP of the six EAC partner states in 2017.
Tanzania’s fast-growing tourism market accounted for 17 percent of GDP in 2019, bringing in revenues of over $2 billion (Sh4.6 trillion) in 2019.
Kenya’s tourism sector which grew 3.9 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 brought in $1.61 billion in earnings (Sh163.56 billion).
Uganda earned $1.6 billion (Sh5.81 trillion) from tourism in 2019.