Nairobi - Terrorist threats and wildlife poaching hurt Kenya's tourist industry for a second year in a row in 2013, where the number of visitors slumped 11 percent, press reports said Saturday.
arrivals declined to 1.09 million in 2013, down from 1.23 million the
year before, according to newspaper reports citing tourism Cabinet
Secretary Phyllis Kandie.
Earnings from the tourism sector also
dropped, falling two percent to 769 million euros ($1.06 billion - about
R11.2-billion at R10.59/$), down from 786 million euros in 2012.
in the largest part of last year saw the number of tourist source
markets issue advisories against non-essential travel to Kenya and
potential tourists chose alternative destinations offering similar
products," Kandie was quoted as saying.
"Kenya has also been
losing its competitive advantage in the safari product due to declining
wildlife population and haphazard development of accommodation
facilities in major conservation areas."
Tourism is a crucial part
of Kenya's economy: according to the most recent figures from 2011, the
sector directly or indirectly accounted for 14 percent of economic
output and roughly 12 percent of the workforce.
violence of 2007 to 2008 resulted in a 30 percent drop in tourism over
the following year before recovering three years later, according to
But business dropped in 2012 and has since
contained its downward trend amid attacks and kidnappings linked to the
war in Somalia, fears of renewed political violence and the Westgate
shopping centre attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab last year.
surge in poaching of elephants and rhinos by organised criminal gangs
has also deterred visitors at a time when the cost of visiting Kenya is
Kandie said the expansion of a 16 percent sales tax to
include tourist goods last September had made it more expensive to visit
the east African country compared to neighbours such as Tanzania and