Nairobi — Kenya has been ranked the 19th most attractive tourist destination in 2017 out of a world ranking of 25 premiere destinations by renowned UK travel firm, Kuoni Safaris.
Kenya has jumped four positions from 23rd in 2016 with more Kuoni clients visiting Kenya despite the prolonged and protracted elections of 2017.
Kuoni’s Worldwide trends report 2018 shows there is a growing interest in areas such as Samburu, Tsavo and Amboseli with the Mara remaining the most popular.
“Popular lodges with Kuoni holidaymakers include Elephant Bedroom Camp on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu with its intimate, friendly and warm atmosphere, and the luxury Finch Hattons tented camp on the south-western edge of Tsavo West National Park,” the report states.
The Maldives remain Kuoni’s biggest selling destination for a staggering 15th consecutive year followed by Mauritius, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the USA.
Kenya has surpassed Tanzania, Seychelles, Spain, and Australia in this latest ranking.
Kenya’s tourism was buoyed by a number of prestigious awards in 2017, including Africa’s leading national park, the Maasai Mara, and leading luxury adventure destination at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, as well as the world’s best safari destination at the World Travel Awards.
Despite travel advisories, the sector raked in Sh119.9 billion compared to Sh99.7 billion in 2016.
According to the 2018 Economic Survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, international arrivals increased by 8.1 percent to reach 1.4 million in 2017 from 1.3 million the previous year.
The survey attributed the improved performance to enhanced security and aggressive promotion in both domestic and international markets.
Hotel bed-nights occupancy increased by 11.3 percent from 6.4 million in 2016, to 7.1 million 2017.
The number of international conferences held contracted by 15.9 percent from 227 in 2016 to 191 in 2017.