Kenya’s tourist arrivals hit rock bottom in 2020 due to the contagion

Tourists visit Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, December 30, 2019. (Xinhua / Wang Teng)

Kenya’s tourist arrivals via the two main airports fell significantly in 2020 as COVID-19 restricted international travel and curtailed tourist activities.

Tourists visit Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, December 30, 2019. / Xinhua

The East African nation received 439,487 tourists via Jomo Kenyatta and Moi International Airports in 2020, down from 1.54 million in 2019, new data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) released on Wednesday showed.

The two airports are the main entry points for tourists in the East African nation.

Tourist arrivals were close to zero between April and July as the pandemic hit the country and major tourist sources like Europe and America.

Kenya only took 12 tourists in April, with the disease being discovered in the country in mid-March, according to the KNBS.

However, arrivals bounced back from September when they hit 20,164 and peaked at 47,406 in December 2020. This was shown by the KNBS data.

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala recently said the sector was on the verge of collapse in 2020 due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, but is now slowly recovering.

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