Kenyan Tourism industries suffered a blow immediately after disputed election of 2007-2008. Many people were killed, hundreds of thousands were displaced. Many countries issued travel warning that Kenya is at wars which lead to decrease in number of tourists visiting the country.
Conventional tourism was affected and stakeholders had find alternatives. They tendered for a variety of camps for corporate events, team building, exhibitions trade fairs and film production to market Kenya tourism.
It was aimed at the local market which the downturn had not badly affected. It was short term strategy to walk Kenyan Tourism through 2008 and it was successful.
Up to today Kenya and stake holders still undertake the same activities to complement the luxury tourist in the country to bring back tourism to back to normal. Kenya has lost tourism to South African market which is stable and reliable for tourist from developed world.
Kenya has the potential to be the jewel in Kenya’s crown in terms of tourism. Kenyan tourism is recognized internationally as the eighth wonder of the world but ongoing destruction of the Mara due to unplanned development and corrupt management practices eats up this good repute.
Insecurity poses a threat to the industry. Al-shabaab threats and attacks targeting foreigners is a big challenge to tourism industry despite government efforts trying market tourism in Kenya, Al-shabaab does hit immediately after the president rubbishing travel ban by foreign countries.
Communication technology is a great challenge to tourism in Kenya. Tourist areas are not connecting to mobile phone network, internet, radio and television networks.
Human wild life conflicts in the recent years where Increasing number of human population has led human being to encroachment in the wildlife habitats like forests and grasslands. This has leads the migration of animal species from their routine habitats.
Poor infrastructure is adverse and has affected tourist industry in Kenya. Tourists from developed countries, find conditions hard to come up with making Kenya sidelined as not safe for them to tour.
The newly created problem that affects tourism sectors is greed for tourism developers, owner and corrupt management. Masaai Mara for example was perched with lots of illegal camps construction posing dander to tourists and even wild life and it lead even government losing revenue.
Kenya predicted to record over three million tourists annually by 2012 according to Vision 2030. This might not be achieved if the present political situation and al-shabbab threat to Kenya continue and it might even cripple economic development plan in the country.
Kenya has to offer in terms of tourism facilities and products but the product is over dependence to seasonal foreign tourism. In some seasons Kenya experiences a huge number of tourists, for example during wildebeest migration and school holidays.
What Kenya needs to do is to promote other forms of tourism like Obama tourism, cultural tourism golf and sport tourism, fishing tourism, and conference tourism. Kenya has more tourism products but not exploited.
According to national Tourism strategy 2013-2018, The Tourism Sector in Kenya did experienced steady growth since independence. It experienced steady growth for over a decade, tourism revenues plummeted to a record low in the wake of the unrest that followed the disputed 2007-2008 elections.
The report further shows in 2010 the industry had already on a recovery path with tourism revenues reaching KShs.98 billion, in 2011 up from KShs.74 billion in 2010, KShs.63 billion in 2009 and KShs.65 billion in 2007 testifying to the resilience of the industry.
Kenya’s tourism industry was deeply affected by terrorist threats in whole 2013. Normal huge number of traditional tourists from the West dropped because of repeated travel advisories against visiting the Kenyans most popular tourist destination, coast.
New tourist markets opens in the East that saw people working in tourism sector getting back to work. These included Asian most populated countries, India and China.
Kenya in turn opened new commercial airline routes to these countries and made easier to acquire visa for their citizens. Domestic tourism was encouraged to fill the gap left by Western tourists but still slow economy led to poor performance from domestic tourism consumption.
Kenya was leading destination for tourists from the East and West and lead to development of tourism facilities in country. Kenyans long political and economic stability made it a favorite of the majority of incoming tourists in African continent.
Kenya now faces a stiff challenge from countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and the island nations of the Seychelles and Mauritius. Numerous government bodies dealing with tourism are now back on marketing Kenya as a destination for tourists from across Europe, the Americas and emerging New market of Asian lead by India and China