Sara Thopson - Sep 5, 2011

Through diversifying its target groups of tourists, Kenya hopes to add to encouraging growth and become a force in African tourism.

The traditionally most prominent groups of tourists in Kenya have come from the UK, USA, Italy, Germany and France in this order. Recently, France was replaced in fifth place by India. This may seem a mere detail, yet is an important statistic in terms of the shift from Europe and the USA to Asian countries, Russia and Brazil.

Inhabitants of debt-ridden Europe and USA have stopped coming to Kenyan beaches and safari parks in the droves they used to and are slowly but surely being replaced by tourists from elsewhere, most notably from India and China.

Growth is expected to reach the 20% mark by the end of this year in Kenyan tourism. With a fair stretch of the holiday season still to run, the figure currently stands at 13.6%. The huge optimism has surfaced due to Kenya not being reliant anymore on traditional sectors, instead targeting its campaigns all around the globe. As Chinese and Indian tourists continue to pour in, Brazil has been targeted as the South Americans enjoy a boom of their own.

As Egypt managed to welcome 1.8 million Russian tourists last year, the Kenyans see no reason why they cannot attract the same high-spending customers. Russians are known for their lavish spending whilst on holiday and are a sensible target for any tourist organization. Kenya is also improving its business tourism front, with a new convention center springing up in Mombassa by the end of the year.

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