Kenya’s slump in global tourism competitiveness ranking

Kenya has slipped two spots to 82nd against last year’s position according to a Tourism Travel Competitiveness survey carried by the World Economic Forum (WEF) released recently. This drop has been seen as a result of the recurrent cholera outbreaks that saw the government take action against roadside eateries and closure of some restaurants. Apart from these hygiene concerns, the capital, Nairobi has been steadily escalating as one of the most expensive destinations in the world over the years currently ranked as the costliest in East Africa and 14th in the continent.

The WEF survey, covering 140 countries shows Kenya as lagging in tourist service infrastructure and ICT readiness, resulting in its decline in the overall enabling environment ranking. Appearing position 106 globally in terms of ICT preparedness is a sharp contrast against the nickname “Silicon Savanah”. Kenya gained ground in the safety and security segment by 10 points pointing to improvement in the reliability of services offered by the police to counter crime and terrorism. Tourism numbers have however seen a decline during the first half of 2019.

Falling by 6,707 to 921,090 during the mentioned period, the fall is attributed to the terror attack that happened at Riverside 14, a mixed-use development housing a 4-star hotel Dusit D2 back in January this year. A PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) hospitality outlook report had predicted a short term slump in demand of travel to Kenya in 2019 thereafter a growth depending on the overall state of security in the East African country.

Kenya also ranked 21st globally, in prioritization of tourism and travel championed by the government by injecting more funds to advertising the country. There has been increased investment in the segment mainly by international chains signing up for new properties in a race for the business tourism segment with up to 19 hotels expected to come into the Kenyan market in the coming months. This is according to a report by W-Hospitality Group, a Lagos based consultancy.

Coupled with natural resources which include UNESCO natural world heritage sites, Kenya ranked 18 in the category that measures the quality of the natural environment, and the percentage of nationally protected areas. Despite the decline in overall ranking in the WEF report, the hospitality industry in Kenya benefited from an increased number of foreign tourists even as travel advisories were lifted and the country enjoying a period of peace and security.

See a recent expatriates ranking of the country here and also stay up to date with the trends in the tours and travel industry in the country from our blog. Make your number one local online business directory as we have a listing of over 6,000 Kenya companies.

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