KTB started focusing on the Chinese market in 2004 and since then arrivals have grown by double digits every year.
Kenyan tourism marketers expect arrivals from China, presently already standing at around 38.000 per annum (2012/13 FY figures) to rise significantly over the coming years. A recent trip by President Kenyatta to China, which strengthened bilateral relations and trade, also put added focus on Kenya as a tourism destination.
A few years ago hardly a few thousand Chinese arrived in Kenya before the trend gathered momentum, and increased air connections, via the Gulf, via Addis Ababa and of course as a result of Kenya Airways adding more destinations and flights to China, have been cited as a key factor for the sharp rise in Chinese tourists.
When Kenya Airways takes delivery of their next brand new B777-300ER, expected in late October this year, the airline will from 19th of November 2013 onwards commence three nonstop flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou in China.
China is positioned as number 1 international tourism source market, and Kenya is experiencing this rapidly growing phenomenon’s positive effects. In 2012/13 financial year Kenya moved from just a handful to 38, 000 Chinese tourists, and expects to reach over 100,000 visitors by 2016 (Kenya Tourist Board estimation).