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COVID Slashes Kenyan Tourism Revenues By $1 Billion

NAIROBI: Kenya’s tourism sector misplaced near $1 billion in income between January and October, when numbers of overseas guests fell by two thirds attributable to COVID-19, the tourism ministry mentioned on Wednesday.

From safaris within the Maasai Mara and different world-beating wildlife reserves to holidays on pristine Indian Ocean seashores, Kenya’s tourism business contributes 10% of financial output and employs over 2 million individuals.

It introduced within the equal of 163.5 billion shillings final yr, and the federal government had initially anticipated that determine to develop 1% in 2020.

But worldwide guests fell to fewer than 500,000 within the first 10 months from 1.7 million in the identical interval final yr, the ministry mentioned, knocking 110 billion Kenyan shillings ($995 million) off revenues that had been predicted to achieve 147.5 billion shillings.

Minister for Tourism Najib Balala mentioned that there had been a slight rise in customer numbers following the lifting of journey restrictions in August.

The authorities was “optimistic the situation will gradually improve once the (COVID) vaccines being developed become readily available to the masses,” he mentioned in a press release.

Kenya has had almost 84,000 confirmed coronavirus instances, with 1,469 deaths, in line with information from the World Health Organization.

Between 2012 and 2015, customer numbers to Kenya fell after a spate of assaults claimed by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which desires Nairobi to drag troops out of neighbouring Somalia. A fall in assaults in subsequent years helped the sector to rebound.

($1 = 110.5000 Kenyan shillings)

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