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The Tourism Industry in Kenya 2023

Charles Chinya | Kenya | 29 March 2023

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Report Coverage

This report focuses on the current state and outlook of tourism industry in Kenya including tour operators and travel agencies. It includes information on the country and its tourist attractions, notable players, developments and corporate actions. There is information on the state of the sector, arrivals and revenues and influencing factors such as input costs, government support and environmental issues. This report includes profiles of 11 companies including Muthaiga Travel, Natural World Kenya Safaris, Spirit of Kenya, Explorer Kenya Tours and Travel and Africa Flash MC Tours and Travel.

Introduction

• Kenya has been considered an attractive tourist destination for decades.
• Before the pandemic, over 2 million people visited Kenya annually, and tourism is a top foreign exchange earner.
• Kenya’s tourism industry started to recover after the pandemic as local tourists took advantage of lower rates.
• Despite the recovery, foreign visitor numbers in 2021 were still sharply lower than pre-pandemic levels.
• In 2022, revenues grew significantly, as did arrivals, which were picking up more strongly than global averages.

Strengths

• A growing middle class and young population hungry to travel for adventure.
• Good and evenly spread air and airport capacities.
• Kenya has renowned national parks like Maasai Mara with abundant wildlife.
• Kenya has the second highest number of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites in Africa after South Africa.
• Kenya is a diversified tourist attraction that includes a combination of beach and safari attractions, with calm waters that stretch along the coastline.
• Kenya is an economic hub in East Africa.
• Kenya’s population is known for its unique cultural features among its tribes particularly Maasai tribe culture.
• National parks and game reserves are well distributed throughout the country.

Weaknesses

• Failure to adapt to consumer needs and trends.
• Failure to tailor-make products to suit different tourist groups.
• High cost of doing business rendering Kenya as an expensive destination.
• Kenya is perceived as an unsafe destination.
• Lack of maintenance of lodges as most beach resorts and lodges require upgrades and maintenance.
• Lack of political will to implement strategy plans.
• Low bed capacity in peak season and available bed capacity is not well distributed and mostly concentrated in Nairobi.
• Numerous licensing requirements.
• Overcrowding in parks during peak seasons affects the environment and disrupts tourist experiences.
• Overreliance on foreign visitors.
• Tourism companies are predominately headquartered in Nairobi.
• Tourism in Kenya is highly enclaved with few operators controlling demarcated areas.
• Uncoordinated marketing activities.

Opportunities

• A growing aviation sector particularly Nairobi as a regional aviation hub.
• Abundance of tourist activities such as sporting activities, filming, bird watching, agro tourism, cultural, cruise tourism.
• Expansion of tourism to more geographical areas.
• Increase in hosting of exhibitions and international conferences.
• Introduction of digital marketing in the tourism sector.
• Promotion of ecotourism.
• Untapped international markets (countries like China, India, Australia), business, domestic and regional tourism.

Threats

• Deforestation of wildlife areas to build tourism accommodation.
• Emerging competitive regional tourism destinations like Tanzania and Uganda.
• Increase in crime in major cities.
• Increase in wildlife poaching for meat consumption might lead to depletion of wildlife.
• Safety and security concerns along borders with neighbours.
• The effects of climate change.
• Threats of global economic instability on Kenya’s economy.

Outlook

• Economic growth in Kenya is projected to decelerate in 2023, driven by a decline in domestic and external demand caused by lower incomes.
• The increase in tourist arrivals in 2022 indicates that tourism is well on the road to recovery.
• However, Kenya tourism faces challenges and it does not have enough different tourism products.
• Government strategies are aimed at addressing some of the issues and providing an opportunity for growth through more contemporary products and combining traditional attractions with new products and services.
• The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has recognised domestic tourism as an essential contributor to the growth of the sector.
• The growth of domestic tourism will be underpinned by the rising middle class and diversification of products.

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The Tourism Industry in Kenya
The Tourism Industry in Kenya 2023

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Table of Contents

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PAGE
1. INTRODUCTION 5
2. COUNTRY INFORMATION 5
3. DESCRIPTION OF THE INDUSTRY 9
3.1. Industry Value Chain 12
3.2. Geographic Position 13
3.3. Size of the Industry 14
4. LOCAL 16
4.1. State of the Industry 16
4.2. Key Trends 24
4.3. Key Issues 25
4.4. Notable Players 27
4.5. Trade 28
4.6. Corporate Actions and Developments 28
4.7. Regulations 31
4.8. Enterprise Development and Social Development 31
5. AFRICA 32
6. INTERNATIONAL 35
7. INFLUENCING FACTORS 38
7.1. Unforeseen Events 38
7.2. Economic Environment 38
7.3. Corruption and Governance 39
7.4. Crime 39
7.5. Labour 39
7.6. Environmental Issues 40
7.7. Technology, R&D, Innovation 41
7.8. Government Support 41
7.9. Input Costs 42
7.10. Cyclicality 43
8. COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT 43
8.1. Competition 43
8.2. Barriers to Entry 44
9. SWOT ANALYSIS 45
10. OUTLOOK 46
11. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 47
12. REFERENCES 47
12.1. Publications 47
12.2. Websites 48
APPENDIX 1 49
Summary of Notable Players 49
COMPANY PROFILES 53
Aanika Karibu Safaris 53
Africa Flash MC Tours and Travel Ltd 54
African Sermon Safaris Ltd 55
Discover Kenya Safaris Ltd 56
Expeditions Maasai Safaris Ltd 57
Explorer Kenya Tours and Travel Ltd 58
Kendirita Tours and Travel Ltd 59
Mufasa Tours and Travels 61
Muthaiga Travel Ltd 62
Natural World Kenya Safaris 64
Spirit of Kenya 65