Only 28 international conferences were held in Kenya last year compared to over 2,000 meetings that were hosted in the country in 2019.
This year’s Economic Survey data shows that delegates attending international conferences significantly went down to just over one thousand from over 72,000 delegates who attended conferences in Kenya in 2019.
The pandemic also disrupted the local conferences scene where muted activity yielded just 1,176 meetings were held being a 75.2 contraction from 4,743 local conferences that were held in the previous year.
Consequently, the utilization of Kenya’s conference infrastructure dropped to 5.2 per cent last year from 12.6 per cent recorded in 2019 as many sectors adopted the use of virtual platforms such as Zoom, Google Meetings, Microsoft Teams among others to conduct meetings.
As travel restrictions hit the aviation industry globally, the number of international visitors in Kenya dropped by 71.5 per cent to 579,000 last year from over two million in 2019.
Similarly, the number of visitors on holiday dropped to 134,000 from 1.3 million in 2019 even as the number of visitors on transit contracted by 78.5 per cent to 37,000 while those on business decreased by 37.5 per cent to 171,000 last year.
In the year under review, bed-nights occupied in game lodges decreased by 73.2 per cent from 939,000 in 2019 to 251,000 in 2020.
The number of hotel bed-nights occupied in national parks also went down by 84 per cent to 110,000 last year from 690,000 in 2019.
Bed-night occupancy in the North Coast went down by 56.8 per cent from 1,464,000 in 2019 to 632,000 last year.
Similarly, bed-night occupancy within Mombasa Island dropped by 62.3 per cent from 463,000 bed-nights in 2019 to 174,000 bed-nights in 2020.
Bed-night occupancy in the South Coast declined by 55 per cent from 1,556,000 in 2019 to 700,000 last year.
Similarly, bed-night occupancy in Kilifi, Malindi and Lamu decreased by 71 per cent to 83.4 thousand during the review period.
In the pandemic year, the number of visitors to museums, snake parks and historical sites also declined by 83.8 per cent to 160,000 in 2020 from 990,000 in 2019
Visitors to major sites such as Nairobi National museum, Fort Jesus and Kisumu museum declined by 83.4, 86.6 and 92.3 per cent, respectively, during the same period, Economic Survey report adds.
Number of visitors to national parks and game reserves also contracted by 65.1 per cent to 1,037,000. All national parks and game reserves registered a decline in the number of visitors during the review period.