Kenya Tourism Report

Quarterly report providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the tourism industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, BMI's Tourism Risk Reward Index, Economic Forecasts, Company Profiles and Global, Regional and Country Industry Overviews.

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Kenya Tourism Report
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BMI View: Kenya is one of the most developed tourism markets in Africa , but its image has been tainted in recent years due to terror threats. The government and the country's tourism board are heavily investing in reviving the tourism industry , and international investors are taking note. Major international hotel brands are continuing to enter and expand in the Kenyan market, a signal of trust in the sector's revival.

Europe has traditionally been the key source market for Kenya; however, recently the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has been strengthening its efforts to promote the country to regional markets, as well as potential domestic travellers, in order to compensate for the lower number of arrivals from abroad. Direct flight links that are in the process of being established, such as to the US, could diversify source markets further. In addition, the hotel industry is still expanding despite the market being fairly saturated. Hotel industry investors are finding room for growth in the luxury accommodation sector, particularly in Nairobi's business district, as seen by recent expansions by major international chains. More low-cost chains are looking to expand outside of the capital, with Asian hotel chains showing particular interest.

Key Forecasts (Kenya 2014-2020)
2014 2015e 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: National sources, BMI
Hotel and restaurant industry value, KESbn 49.44 50.46 51.77 53.94 57.15 60.07 63.00
Hotel and restaurant industry value, KESbn, % y-o-y -0.3 2.1 2.6 4.2 6.0 5.1 4.9
Hotel and restaurant industry value, USDbn 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.6
Hotel and restaurant industry value, USDbn, % y-o-y -2.3 -8.7 -4.1 0.3 4.1 3.7 3.5
International tourism receipts, USDbn 2.68 2.24 2.15 2.37 2.64 3.07 3.51
International tourism receipts, USDbn, % y-o-y -13.4 -16.3 -3.9 9.9 11.6 16.2 14.3
International tourism receipts, KESbn 235.55 220.25 226.37 258.39 293.66 345.72 400.53
International tourism receipts, KESbn, % y-o-y -11.6 -6.5 2.8 14.2 13.7 17.7 15.9
Total arrivals, '000 1,337.25 1,230.27 1,168.75 1,209.66 1,255.02 1,359.27 1,472.18
Total arrivals, '000, % y-o-y -12.0 -8.0 -5.0 3.5 3.8 8.3 8.3

Key Updates And Forecasts

  • Inbound tourism is forecast to grow positively from 2017. Over the long term this growth will increase at a faster pace than previously expected, with total arrivals projected to hit over 1.4mn by 2020.

  • By 2020, the higher number of inbound tourists will push international tourism receipts up, to just over USD3.5bn, an increase of 14.3% from 2019. The hotel and restaurant industry value is expected to stay at USD0.5bn for the majority of the forecast period, from 2016 to 2019; it will increase to USD0.6bn in 2020. The KTB has identified the Middle East and Asia Pacific as potential source regions for tourism growth.

  • In December 2015, Kenya was voted the world's leading safari destination at the World Travel Awards, a recognition that could boost the tourism sector.

  • The hotel sector is experiencing high volumes of investments and expansions, an indicator of foreign investors' trust in the growth of Kenya's economy.

  • There are some downside risks to our forecasts, which include the continuous uncertain security situation in the country.

BMI Industry View
Table: Key Forecasts (Kenya 2014-2020)
Industry Forecast
Table: Inbound Tourism (Kenya 2014-2020)
Table: Tourism Receipts (Kenya 2014-2020)
Table: Hotel Accommodation (Kenya 2014-2020)
Table: Tourist Departures and Consumption (Kenya 2014-2020)
Industry Risk/Reward Index
Table: Sub-Saharan Africa Risk/Reward Index
Security Risk
Market Overview
Competitive Landscape
Domestic Hotel Groups
Table: Domestic Hotel Groups
International Hotel Groups
Table: International Hotel Groups
Industry Forecast Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Table: Weighting Of Indicators

The Kenya Tourism Report has been researched at source and features BMI Research's independent assessment and forecasts for tourist expenditure; government expenditure on tourism; passenger arrivals and departures by mode of transport, reason for travel, origin and destination; and the accommodation market.

BMI's Kenya Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Kenyan tourism industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent tourism industry forecasts for Kenya to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the Kenyan tourism market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Kenyan tourism sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Kenya.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. KPIs and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

This contains a synopsis of our forecasts, and any changes, together with an overview of key trends and developments in the tourism industry, and an assessment of the impact of various economic and national factors which might affect the sector. It also covers new transport projects, new hotel developments, and acquisitions.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the tourism sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Forecasts to end-2019 for all key indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:

  • Inbound Tourism: Total arrivals (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), arrivals by region (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), arrivals by country (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), top 10 source countries for arrivals.
  • Outbound Tourism: Total departures (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), departures by regional destination (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), departures by country (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), top 10 destination countries.
  • Travel & Receipts: Methods of travel for arrivals (air, ship, rail) (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), international tourism receipts for transport (USDbn and growth % y-o-y), international tourism receipts for travel items (USDbn and growth % y-o-y).
  • Hotels: Hotel industry value (USDbn and growth % y-o-y), number of hotels (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), total overnight stays (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), length of stay, occupancy rate (%), number of total

BMI’s Tourism Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (tour operators, tourism infrastructure investors, financial institutions) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards.

Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Overview

This contains a comprehensive overview of the tourism industry in the country, its overall value, the value of its hotels industry, trends in the hotels industry and any new developments. It also contains an evaluation of the top 10 global hotel groups’ presence in the country, which brands are present in which cities, the number of hotels and any planned developments and strategies. The Market Overview also considers the tourism infrastructure developments in the country, in particular transport infrastructure projects such as ports and airports. Tables are also included from our regularly updated Key Projects Database, which contain details of projects, their value, the time frame, their current status, the companies involved and their estimated completion dates.

Competitive Landscape

This section provides insight into key domestic players in the hotel industry, discussing, for example, the number of hotels, brands, financial data, geographical spread, recent developments and strategies of individual companies.

The Tourism Reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reprts instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.