Is Tourism in the rest of East Africa gaining from Kenya’s security woes?

There has been a lot of speculation that tourism in Tanzania is gaining from all the strife and bad press Kenya has been facing.  Many think that Tanzania has grabbed the opportunity as a more secure and much safer tourist destination than its neighbour. Tanzania safaris are slowly but surely being seen as the safer option compared to Kenya safaris.

The economy of Kenya which relies quite heavily on tourism is facing some very tough times, and more tough times are yet to come which evidently puts a dent in its hopes of achieving a 6% growth target.

Reports say Kenya’s tourism reports for 2013 due to be released soon do not look in the least bit good.

Giraffes in Kenya's Tsavo National ParkKenya’s tourism sector is reported to have performed poorly in the second half of 2013, mostly due to fears of insecurity concerning the general elections not to mention the terrorist attacks. The poor performance happens to have spilled over to this year as well leaving Kenya’s otherwise very lucrative industry in a threatened position. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has data showing that the number of tourist arrivals declined by 2.3% in 2012 alone.

The international community’s financial community the IMF is just as concerned about Kenya’s economic status as its own government is. It advised the government not to rush into borrowing citing that it might weaken the economy rather than stabilise it.

Kenya’s 2030 Vision aims at transforming the country into a middle income economy in the space of 16 years, using tourism as its major sectors.  But tourism in Kenya has been affected by the recent instability more than any of the country’s other sectors.

Kenya’s tourism sector has lost what amounts to millions of shillings worth of coastal business dueto cancellation of tourist bookings, and international seminars and conferences.

A lot of what would have been Kenya tourism business is being diverted to the equally gifted Tanzania. Tourism and Tanzania safaris are on the rise due to this unfortunate situation.

Zanzibar is also  thought to be benefitting some from Kenya’s plight when it comes to coastal tourism.  It is now a majpr competitor for Mombasa, since many on Africa safaris in the region find it much safer than Mombasa. The terrorist threats in Kenya are not helping to improve the situation.

Although tourism in Tanzania was on the rise way before Kenya’s security woes, many people are wondering whether the recent boost in the industry is not because of the reasons for the decline in Tourism in Tanzania.