Nairobi joins most-visited cities league
Nairobi is set to be the eighth most-visited city in Africa, with more than 619,506 visitors recorded in 2014, according to the 2014 MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.
The visitors spent over Sh28 billion during their stay in Nairobi — up nearly 13 per cent from more than 25 billion spent in 2013.
The number of international overnight visitors increased by nine per cent from 568,266 in 2013.
This has been attributed to the continued significance of tourism as a key economic driver for Kenya despite several travel advisories issued against it.
“The proactive push for intra-Africa tourism has had a positive effect on the number of international visitors coming to Kenya,” said Mr James Wainaina, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard, East Africa.
DESTINATION OF CHOICE
Nairobi ranks ahead of Dakar (619,413 visitors), Entebbe (576,434) and Tunis (427,807).
“The impacts of travel are very significant from a business, social, and cultural perspective.
“International visitor spending constitutes an increasingly important source of business revenue in Nairobi, encompassing the hospitality, retail, transport, sports and culture industries, among many others,” added Mr Wainaina.
South African cities Johannesburg and Cape Town were first and second, attracting 4.2 million and 1.6 million visitors respectively, in 2014, followed by Cairo (1.35 million), Lagos (1.33 million) and Casablanca (982,219 million).
For the third time in four years, London, with 18.7 million visitors, maintained its top slot as the global destination of choice.
The Index ranks 132 cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and cross-border spending by the same visitors.