DAR-ES-SALAAM, The number of Kenyans visiting Tanzania went up by 11.7 per cent in 2016, pushing the country to second position as a visitor source market, displacing the United States, according to a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2016 survey released here recently.

The survey report said the major reasons cited by Kenyans for visiting neighbouring Tanzania as leisure, holidays and business. Britain remains the biggest source market for Tanzania's tourism industry.

The NBS survey, which covered a sample of 16,639 tourists from 122 source markets, reported that there was a notable increase in the number of visitors from Kenya as its share increased to 11.7 per cent of the total visitors from 9.7 per cent recorded in 2015.

Uganda and Burundi emerged as new entrants in the list of 15 top source markets for Tanzania, largely attributed to their proximity as well as increasing business inter-actions.

Among holiday-makers, the biggest markets were Britain, Germany, the US and Italy. About 59.9 per cent of tourists who visited the country came for leisure and holidays, 18.3 per cent to visiting friends and relatives while 11 per cent came for business purposes.

The number of tourists coming for business purposes increased and were mainly from the neighbouring countries, said the report. The increased activities in business tourism were attributed to the improvements in the environment for cross-border trade and investment.

However, the share of visitors who came for meetings and conference was the lowest, about 6.0 per cent. The overall average length of stay of visitors in Tanzania was nine nights slightly lower than 10 nights recorded during the past five years.

About 31per cent of the visitors spend between 8 to 14 nights, followed by those who stayed between 4 to 7 nights accounting for 27 per cent. Visitors who stayed the longest were mainly from Germany, Spain, Canada, Italy and Britain.

Visitors from the neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and South Africa stayed the shortest time.