Players in the tourism industry are banking on peace to drive them on a recovery path. This is more so coming from a long electioneering period that characterised 2017.
International tourist bookings to Kenya slowed down following the disputed August 8 presidential election results and the repeat poll on October 26.

Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) chairman Mohamed Hersi said the sector might recover this year if the calm enjoyed in the country is sustained.

Mr Hersi, who is also the chief executive officer of Sun Africa Hotels, said peace is key to revival of tourism, adding that political leaders should help maintain stability.

“This year, we expect more international visitors as Kenya’s image in both traditional and emerging markets is positive in the wake of stability,” he said.

Individual hotel groups, he added, have been marketing their products in leading travel shows such as the ITB Berlin in Germany and the World Travel Market, London. December was a better month, with hotels and lodges recording better occupancy, especially during the festive season.

Kenya Tourism Board chairman Jimi Kariuki expressed optimism that the industry would rebound this year, bolstered by marketing campaigns in traditional sources such as the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, Italy and France.

“Also, our tourism promotions in emerging markets of China and India are paying off as we have seen a significant rise in visitor numbers from the two Asian countries,” he said.

The KTB boss said the marketing agency would capitalise on digital platforms by collaborating with US travel website TripAdvisor and Google to attract more holidaymakers from across the globe.