Uganda still Kenya’s top regional tourism source market, report says

Friday February 24 2023
Kenya’s Tourism CS Peninah Malonza

Kenya’s Tourism CS Peninah Malonza speaks during the release of the tourism sector 2022 performance in Nairobi on February 22, 2023. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


Uganda has for another year running retained its spot as Kenya’s biggest tourism source market in the region according to new data released by tourism authorities in Nairobi.

This data is contained in the new Kenya’s tourism sector performance report for 2022 released Wednesday at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi by the country’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza.

The report noted that Uganda contributed 12 percent of total arrivals to Kenya in 2022, coming only second to the United States which took the top overall spot with a 16 percent contribution.

For the years, Kenyan tourism authorities and private sector players have invested in marketing the country in Uganda to lure especially coastal beach lovers. The two countries also have strong business and trade ties.

Across the East African region, Uganda was the top contributor, registering about 151,121 visitors to Kenya, closely followed by Tanzania with 123,836, and Rwanda with 48,232.

Somalia came fourth with 40,133, followed by Ethiopia with 36,581 visitors and South Sudan registering 35,760.


Burundi stood at 22,291 while the Democratic Republic of Congo registered 21,428 visitors to Kenya.

Coming for business

The report indicates that 641,975 visitors that Kenya received were from within Africa and were mainly coming for business and visiting family and friends.

In the year under review, Kenya’s tourism performance continued on a recovery path following a Covid-19 distortion and saw the number of international tourist arrivals hitting 1,483,752, representing a 70.45 percent increase, up from the 870,465 arrivals recorded in 2021.


The country also saw its earnings grow by 83 percent to Ksh268.09 billion ($2.1 billion) compared to Ksh146.51 billion ($1.2billion) in 2021.

“This growth can be attributed to many countries lessening their Covid-19 restrictions, opening up for travel and many initiatives implemented by the sector and the government,” the report says.

According to Ms Malonza, Kenya will now focus on further increasing these numbers in 2023 by developing new strategies that are intended to impact a wider population, thus improving Kenyans’ livelihoods.