Luxury hotel Hemingways Collection has welcomed the scheduled Kenya Airways daily flights between Nairobi and New York, saying they present opportunities for tourism.
Group Operations director Ross Evans said shortened flights between Nairobi and USA is a boost as majority of the hotel’s leisure guests are from USA.
He said the corporate market will also benefit, with Nairobi strengthening its position as a regional hub for corporate travel. "The actual flight times have been well thought out, with both legs being overnight flights,” said Evans in a statement.
Figures from the Kenya Tourism Board indicate that tourists from the US grew 16.3 per cent to 95,771 between January and October last year up from 82,363 visitors recorded in the same period in 2016.
The numbers are expected to go up this year on the back of increased confidence from foreign visitors, growth in domestic tourism and largely with the planned daily flights to New York later in the year. Reduced flight hours means US leisure travellers will have more time to experience Kenya.
“Currently many visitors from the US spend very little time in Nairobi and miss out on some of our country’s fantastic attractions and culture,” he said.
Nairobi was recently ranked number three in the Top Travel Destinations for 2018 by users of travel website Trip Advisor under its annual Travellers’ Choice awards.
The World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts business and leisure spending in Kenya to grow at an average rate of five per cent annually; business tourism spending is projected to reach Sh252 billion by 2025 while leisure spending is expected to reach Sh400.6 billion over the same period.