Kenya's tourism earnings more than doubled to 167.1 billion shillings ($1 billion) in January to August from 83 billion shillings in the same period a year ago, Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala said on Friday.

Balala said in a statement the earnings were as a result of a 91% rise in the number of international visitors to 924,812 partly due to a recovery from the pandemic, and forecasts strong growth to the end of the year.

Tourism alongside horticulture, tea and remittances are Kenya's top foreign exchange earners. ($1 = 120.2000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa Editing by James Macharia Chege)