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Uhuru Kenyatta

Tourist arrivals grow 7.4pc in nine months

Arrivals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport increased to 776,376 in nine months last year up from 722, 268 in similar period in 2017. Industry players attributed the rise to the political calm tied to the famous ‘handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

Tourists in Mombasa: The rosy numbers are linked to political calm. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Tourist arrivals grew by 7.4 per cent in nine months to September last year as the industry benefited from the political calm and resumption of chartered flights to coastal Kenya. Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that arrivals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport increased to 776,376 in nine months last year up from 722, 268 in similar period in 2017.Arrivals at Moi in Mombasa rose by 40 per cent to 93,930.Industry players attributed the rise, which is the highest in similar period since 2014, to the political calm tied to the famous ‘handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.“The political handshake and resumption of chartered aircraft and incentives have led to the boom. It can only get better,” said Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohammed Hersi.Kenya earned Sh120 billion in 2017. Direct flights to New York from Nairobi are also expected to boost numbers.

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