Kenya to receive nearly 1.46 mn foreign tourists

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He revealed that Kenya has built on efforts to ensure that tourism experiences are not only safe and enjoyable for visitors, but also sustainable and profitable for stakeholders in the industry…reports Asian Lite News

Kenya has forecast to receive nearly 1.46 million foreign tourists in 2022, up from 870,000 recorded in 2021 amid the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the tourism sector revenues are expected to expand from 146 billion shillings ($1.2 billion) posted in 2021 to $2.19 billion this year.

“Kenya as a tourism destination is quickly on its way to recovery as a result of value addition to tourism experiences as well as diversification of offerings,” Balala added during the opening of the 12th edition of Magical Kenya Tourism Expo.

Tourism is one of the leading sources of foreign exchange for the East African country. He said that the tourism expo, which is the largest East and Central African travel trade show, brought together more than 200 exhibitors and 160 buyers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

He revealed that Kenya has built on efforts to ensure that tourism experiences are not only safe and enjoyable for visitors, but also sustainable and profitable for stakeholders in the industry.

Betty Radier, CEO of the state-owned marketing body, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), said that the tourism expo is part of Kenya’s efforts to revitalise tourism as it focuses on Africa and other emerging markets.

“We are delighted to have the event return to in-person after two years. Last year we held the event virtually to ensure that the sector did not lose out on any opportunities,” she added.

Kenya’s forex reserves fall to 5-year low

Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 12.5 billion shillings (about 103 million U.S. dollars) this week to hit a five-year low as the shilling fell to the lowest level in history against the dollar, the Central Bank of Kenya said in its weekly update of the financial markets.

The reserves fell from 7.42 billion dollars last week to 7.32 billion dollars, with the apex bank reported to have sold an unspecified amount of dollars to stabilize the local currency.

During the week, the shilling fell to an all-time low of 120.82 against the dollar, the Central Bank said in its update released Friday evening.

The Kenyan currency has declined 7 percent against the dollar year-to-date.

Despite the decline, the Central Bank, however, said that “the usable foreign exchange reserves remain adequate” to cushion the shilling and cover importers’ demands.

The 7.321 billion dollars reserves, which are at 4.13 months of import cover, however, are in breach of the East African region’s forex reserves policy, where member states are required to maintain 4.5 months of import cover.

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