NAIROBI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's international tourist arrivals increased by 53.3 percent to 870,465 in 2021 compared to 567,848 in 2020 with the sector showing recovery amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations across the globe, a government official said on Wednesday.
Najib Balala, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, said the sector registered steady growth from June to December in 2021.
"The numbers are still low, but we are optimistic that we will eventually go back to our all-time high international visitor arrivals or even surpass it," Balala said during the launch of a report by the state-owned Tourism Research Institute in the capital, Nairobi.
"This is because the majority of our masses are vaccinated and international visitors will have faith in our destination again," he added.
Balala said the 2021 performance is an indication of a steadily growing trust for the Magical Kenya destination, which can be credited to renewed marketing efforts as well as confidence in the country's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He said the growth was also supported by innovative products offered to both domestic and international markets by major players, mainly hotels and domestic airlines.
The report shows the top five international arrivals by country are the United States, Uganda, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and India.