Over 500,000 people visited Kenya in the first quarter of 2007, up seven per cent over the same period last year. This translated into an 18 per cent rise in earnings from KSh14.7 billion in January-March 2006 to Sh17.5 billion this year. In light of these figures the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has said the country could exceed the projected Ksh61 billion earnings for this year by ten per cent.

The upturn can be explained partly by the influx of people to Kenya for the World Social Forum in Nairobi in January and the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa in March. However, it is also the result of an aggressive marketing campaign by KTB in Eastern Europe and the Far East, which represent rapidly growing source markets for the industry.

The launch of direct flights by Virgin Atlantic between Nairobi and London on 1 June is also expected to have a positive impact on arrivals from the United Kingdom, the country