Kenya is seeking to grow international tourist arrivals, with numbers projected to nearly double this year and triple next year by targeting travel agents.

 Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza has said that the government will collaborate and provide market development.

On the other hand,  the travel agents will provide actual and real-time tourist bookings.

She spoke during the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA), adding that the association is mandated to create viable tourism circuits and is best positioned to develop new circuits and improve existing ones.

“ Kenya currently has seven key circuits, including the Western Kenya circuit, Coastal Circuit, Southern circuit (Tsavo Amboseli regions), North Rift circuit (Laikipia-Marsabit-Turkana), South Rift Circuit (Mara-Lake Nakuru region), Eastern Circuit and Nairobi circuit,” she said.

There are over 400 registered travel and tour agencies in the country, with more than 240 members of the association, accounting for up to 70 per cent of travel and bookings.

Leveraging on the agents, the government believes, will help the country achieve its post-Covid recovery targets set at 1.4 million this year, from 870, 467 recorded last year.

Tourism Research Institute(TRI), the sectors statistician, projects this year’s earnings will also grow by 81 per cent to Sh265.4 billion.

Total arrivals for the year to August were 924,812, up from 483246 international tourists who visited the country in the same period last year.

This came with a jump in inbound tourism earnings, which more than doubled to Sh167.1 billion, compared to the Sh83.2 billion recorded in a similar period last year.

The government expects the sector’s earnings to grow further by 35 per cent to Sh359.1 billion next year and then Sh396.1 billion the year after.

Further, the government forecasts to have 1.9 million international tourists next year, which is expected to grow to 2.2 million in 2024.