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Kenya looks to China to boost tourism sector recovery

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Kenya is looking to China to boost the recovery of its tourism sector, one of the country’s key economic pillars, with a projected uptick of Chinese tourists from 2024.

On February 6, 2023,  China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced the resumption of outbound group tour services to 20 countries, including Kenya, Egypt, Thailand and New Zealand, following a three-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first tour group to visit Kenya from China since the resumption of services arrived in Nairobi, the nation’s capital, on February 11.

Since February, there has been an increase in the number of tourists visiting Kenya, this was revealed during a media and tourism operators engagement session organized by the Kenya Chinese Tourism Association held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

Kenya Chinese Tourism Association held a media engagement session on the upcoming China roadshow. PHOTO/CGTN Africa

According to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) acting chief executive officer John Chirchir, visitor arrivals from China to Kenya recorded a remarkable growth as restrictions to the COVID-19 pandemic eased.

Data from the board indicates that between January and August there was 154 percent growth in tourist numbers from China, with an estimated 34,638 tourists visiting Kenya.

KTB is set to partner with Chinese tour companies to showcase the country’s offering during a  five day roadshow to be held in China from November 8-13.

The roadshows will be held in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, where there will be business to business sessions, where Kenyan tour operators will equally get a chance to reconnect with tour operators in China.

China is the second-largest source of Asian tourists to Kenya.

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