Kenya’s tourism economy growth in 2018 has beaten both the regional and global averages.

This is according to an annual report compiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global private sector of travel and tourism.

At 5.6% growth, contributing KES790bn (€7bn) to the economy in that year, Kenya exceeded the global average of 3.9%, and sub-Saharan average of 3.3%. This makes Kenya the third-largest tourism economy in sub-Saharan Africa – following South Africa and Nigeria.

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, said: “The gains of the sector are as a result of co-ordinated efforts between various arms of government, with whom the tourism sector has engaged, as well as the concerted efforts in marketing Kenya as a destination of choice.”

International tourists spent a total of KES157bn (€1.4bn) in Kenya in 2018, with the largest inbound international markets being the USA (11%), UK (9%), India (6%), China (4%), and Germany (4%).

The WTTC report also revealed that travel and tourism contributed 8.8% to Kenya’s GDP, and is projected to grow by 5.9% in 2019.