Key Messages from the analysis of the Kenyan Wildlife Services (KWS) data:
• There was a significant decline in visitors to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park after the 2013 terrorist attacks. Foreign tourist numbers declined much more drastically than Kenyan tourists. In 2011 there were about twice as many foreign tourists than Kenyan tourists, but by 2015 there were more Kenyan tourists than foreign tourists.
• There are two types of boats that tourists can use to visit Kisite-Mpunguti, local boats and more expensive company boats. Kenyan tourists preferred to use local boats, while foreign tourists used both kinds equally. Hence, company boats were affected more notably than the local boats after the 2013 terrorist attacks.
• The Kenyan tourists and the cheaper local boats play a very important role in ‘buffering’ the tourism industry against the effects of a crisis, because Kenyan tourists continue to visit the coast and use these services even when there is a slump in foreign non-resident tourists.
• Without the Kenyan tourists, the impacts of the terrorist attacks and associated reductions in tourist numbers might have been a lot worse.
• It is important to carry on recognising the important role that the Kenyan tourists play in the Shimoni area. They may not be as profitable for local businesses, but they are much more resilient than foreign tourists when the country is faced with a shock.
Read the full brief here: KWS Brief