Kenya sees UAE tourist numbers rise over 77%

Kenya has been witnessing a surge in tourist arrivals from the UAE, recording a 77.4 percent rise in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2014, according to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) .

TradeArabia News Service, TANS, a portal for business information and trade news, has quoted the figures released by the KTB, which say a total of 24,462 people visited Kenya from the UAE between January and June, compared to 13,782 in 2014, which made the UAE hold 7 percent of Kenya's total tourist market share, up from 3.2 per cent in 2014, and Kenya's third largest source market for tourism in the world, behind the UK and USA.

"The UAE is an emerging market for us and our strategy in place to market Kenya to GCC market is bringing the results we all wanted and expected. It has also made us a tourist destination in the region, and we saw this with the increase in tourist figures, which we see increasing more and more. We expect further growth from this market following our recently launched marketing campaign dubbed 'Choose Kenya' to woo tourists from the GCC countries," said Muriithi Ndegwa, KTB Managing Director.

Ndegwa added that the increase in tourism numbers was also spurred by the recovery from insecurity as compared to last year as well as the drop in Ebola infections in West Africa which boosted the visitor's confidence in the region and particularly in Kenya.

The fifth edition of Magical Kenya Travel Expo and more than four other International events meant to be held in Kenya later this year are also expected to put Kenya at the forefront of tourist destinations for Gulf residents.