|Kenya's tourist arrivals rise from post-peak season slump|
By Bedah Mengo
NAIROBI, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's tourist arrivals increased towards the end of last year after a decline that followed the August peak season, official data indicated on Thursday.
The number of tourists who arrived in the East African nation through its two main international airports during the period rose by about 5 percent, from 103,465.
The increase that happened at the beginning of the last quarter of 2012 followed a slump in tourist arrivals, which occurred after the end of July-August high season.
"The number of tourists arriving through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airports increased by 5.2 percent from 103,465 persons recorded in September to 108,853 persons in October," said the latest Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on the East African nation's economic indicators.
Tourist arrivals had plummeted by 18.3 percent after the August peak season. The number of tourists arriving through JKIA and MIA had declined from 126,640 persons recorded in August to 103,465 in September.
The number had gone up by 13 percent in August during the high season. Rise in arrivals had started in July, where the number of tourists arriving through the two main airports went up by 15.6 percent from 96,906 the previous month.
Most of the tourists who visited Kenya during the period under review arrived through JKIA. The airport recorded 95,911 tourists in October, an increase from 90,153 the previous month.
On the other hand, 12,942 tourists arrived through MIA during the month. This was a slight drop from 13,312 tourists, who had entered Kenya through the airport in September Majority of tourists who came in Kenya during the period, according to the report titled Leading Economic Indicators came from Europe.
The region led in the number of passenger arrivals, which stood at 42,094, up from the previous month, which registered 30,357 persons.
It was followed by Africa, which contributed 37,142 persons. This was a slight decline from the previous month number, which stood at 37,981.
Asia came third with 31,136 persons, which was a significant increase from the previous month's 26,199 persons.
Dubai, a city in United Arab Emirates (UAE), contributed the biggest number of passenger arrivals from Asia, standing at 18,818, up from 17,771 persons the previous month.
In August, passenger arrivals from the port city stood at 22, 514 persons. The high numbers of passengers from the region can be attributed to vibrant trade between Kenya and UAE.
The Asian country is the second leading source of Kenya's imports. As at September last year, UAE imports to Kenya stood at 1.38 billion dollars
Generally, the report indicated that the number of passenger arrivals into Kenya through JKIA went up by 9.6 percent during period under review.
"The number of passengers who landed increased by 9.6 percent from 166,432 persons to 182,341 persons," said the report. On the other hand, the number of tourists who left Kenya through JKIA went up slightly by 0.4 percent.
"The number of passengers who embarked at the airport went up marginally by 0.4 percent from 181,562 persons in September to 182, 515 persons in October," said the report.
Most of the passengers, 40,236 went to Europe. This signifies the area's importance to Kenya as a source of tourists.
Europe has over years remained the biggest origin of tourists who visit Kenya. Europe was followed by Africa at 38,059 persons and Asia at 31,286.
Also during the period under review, the data indicated that volume of Kenya's international trade plummeted by 6.7 percent, from 1.88 billion dollars in September to 1.75 billion dollars in October.
Imports comprised mainly of non-food industrial supplies with a share of 27.2 percent, while the values of fuel and lubricants, machinery and transport equipment registered shares of 20.1, 20.4 and 14.6 percent respectively. Food and beverage registered a share of 9.9 percent while consumer goods 6.7 percent.
Most Kenya's imports during the period came from China, followed by India and UAE.
The East African nation, on the other hand, mainly exported its goods to Uganda, followed by Britain and Tanzania, each which accounted for 353 million dollars of goods.
KNBS Leading Economic Indicators report mainly highlights trends in inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, international trade, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, building and construction, tourism and transport.
These are areas that shape, determine and contribute significantly to Kenya's economic growth.