Kenya’s aviation and tourism market could double in size over the next 20 years with the right investment.
That was the message from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the recent IATA Regional Aviation Forum in Nairobi.
To ensure the best possible opportunity for sustained growth, IATA said improving air transport infrastructure, implementing the Single African Air Transport Market, adopting innovative technology and improving safety are key areas to focus on.
While Kenya ranks globally in the top 10% of countries for visa openness, it remains in the bottom half for air transport infrastructure
"Air transport has been a major driver in Kenya’s economy, boosting tourism, attracting regional headquarters of multinational companies and fostering trade, logistics and foreign investment in the country,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA's Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa.
In 2017, over 4.7 million passenger journeys were made to Kenya, with aviation and tourism representing USD 3.2 billion in GDP. The industry accounts for 4.6% of Kenya’s GDP and supports 410,000 jobs.
Referring to its latest study on the economic value of air transport and tourism to Kenya, IATA said that over the next two decades, the Kenyan market could more than double in size.
The growth could result in an additional 11.3 million passenger journeys, over 449,000 more jobs, and a USD 11.3 billion boost to GDP by 2037.
“With 4.8 million passengers arriving to Kenya’s airports every year and the country’s established position as the leading cargo hub for East Africa, there is good reason to be proud of all that aviation has achieved in the country,” added Albakri.
“However, while Kenya ranks globally in the top 10% of countries for visa openness, it remains in the bottom half for air transport infrastructure.
“To unlock the full social and economic benefits that aviation brings, Kenya needs to improve its infrastructure, open its skies, remain vigilant and firm on safety, while taking advantage of new technologies to improve efficiency and the passenger experience.”
- For more information on The Importance of Air Transport to Kenya report, click here