2007–2008 Kenyan Crisis
Following the controversia 2007 presidential election and the 2007-2008 Kenyan crisis that followed, tourism revenues plummeted 54 percent from 2007 in the first quarter of 2008. It fell to 8.08 billion shillings (US$130.5 million) from 17.5 billion shillings in January–March 2007 and a total of 130,585 tourists arrived in Kenya compared to over 273,000 that year. Tourist income from China, however, dropped 10.7%, compared with over 50% from traditional revenue earners the United States and Europe. Domestic tourism also improved by 45%, earning the tourist sector 3.65 billion shillings out of the 8.08 billion in the period being reviewed.
Conference tourism was badly hit during the first quarter, dropping by 87.4% compared to the growth that was witnessed in 2007. 974 people arrived in Kenya during that period for many conferences were cancelled. Business travel declined by 21 per cent during the time period and 35,914 travellers came into the country compared to 45,338 during the same period the year before.
Despite this, Kenya won the Best Leisure Destination award at the World Travel Fair in Shanghai, China, in April 2008. The Permanent Secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Tourism, Rebecca Nabutola, stated that the award "goes to testify that Kenya has a unique world acclaimed tourism product. The recognition will no doubt boost Kenya's tourism and enhance its profile as a leading tourist destination."
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