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Tourism, including business travel, plays an important role in the Kenyan economy. In 2014, the travel and tourism industries generated $5.7 billion (equivalent to 11.9% of GDP), including indirect and induced contributions and related capital investment spending, according to World Travel and Tourism Council. The industries also directly employed about 230,000 people. Tourism is the second largest source of foreign currency for Kenya's imports after the agricultural industry.

Unfortunately, the number of visitor arrivals has declined from 1.8 million people in 2011 to 1.4 million in 2014. Occupancy rates for the country's 12,403 rooms, or 19,877 thousands bed nights,* averaged only 38 percent in 2014. Major events, such as the visit the President of the United States to Nairobi in July, do however result in full-booking of all major 5-star hotels, according to Nairobi's WTO ministerial conference blog.

Sources: World Bank Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond EfficiencyWorld Travel and Tourism Council Data, 2015, MC 10 Nairobi 2015, Kenya: A Magical Destination.

* See Kenya National Bureau of Statistics "Kenya Facts & Figures, 2015". p.50

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