By. Kevin Mbugua K.
Gorgeous! The only word in mind that seems suitable to describe Kenya. The energy, the friendly people, the rich culture, the terrain, wonders of the world and wildlife will simply blow your mind away!
This breathtaking beauty is what has seen the Kenyan tourism docket grow gradually into one of the highest revenue generators for the country, bringing in billions of shillings. According to the CS for Tourism Najib Balala, Kenya received over 1.4 million tourists and earned Kshs.120 Billion in 2017 alone. The Kenya Tourism Board anticipates growth of the industry by 16% by mid 2019.
Kenya’s tourism sector has been a dominant revenue source for years. The natural attractions have always drawn tourists from around the globe, centering Kenya as a prominent tourist destination. However, domestic tourism has not always been so celebrated, especially in the past decade. Even now, domestic tourists are not a common sight. All the same, it has been growing over the past three years, with the youth leading the path of local exploration.
Domestic tourism in Kenya has been hampered by three factors over the past few years; ignorance, economic capacity and most of all, a lack of curiosity. For the most choosing to travel is dependent on the level of wonder and curiosity of an individual. Most Kenyans are preoccupied with earning money and often consider night life as the first choice for fun. Moreover, there is a general assumption that travel must be expensive. For the most part, if you ask a Kenyan about traveling, they will likely think of the diaspora first.
Fortunately, this is gradually changing through the efforts of homegrown travel bloggers such as Phenny Odera and Jean Wandimi in combination with the Kenya Tourism Board. Jean started as a wine and food blogger, but gradually become more interested in travel and began following her curiosity. Her purpose is to expose affordable travel destinations within the country such as Leopard Beach Hotel in Diani. Phenny on the other hand, has been obsessed with sunrises and sunsets and captures them from different beautiful places and makes a really artistic gallery as displayed on her instagram profile. The ultimate goal is to show people how inexpensive travel can be, and the more unexplored areas of Kenya. The Kenya Tourism Board has also encouraged domestic tourism through the introduction of reduced domestic rates and partnering up with vloggers and bloggers to market Kenya. With improvements like this, domestic tourism has been rising, and more people have developed an interest in travel. Perhaps, one of these days I might bump into you at a tourist site.