Although the country has in the past been devastated by earthquakes, its tourism industry is once again on the rise.
Colombia was second, Cuba third, Jordan fourth and Albania was fifth.
Romania was ranked sixth while El Salvador was ranked seventh overall ahead of Wales at position eight, Kenya at position nine and Sri Lanka, which completed the list of the world’s top 10 countries to visit this year.
On the Rough Guides website, the UK travel and adventure publication says the foreign media hasn’t been kind to Kenya in the recent past, and the terrorist attacks in Mombasa and Garissa in recent years have taken a toll on the country’s tourism industry.
However, the publication notes that travel advisories imposed by some European nations have been lifted and that “majority of this vast and breathtaking-country (is) safe for travel”.
“Once you’ve had your fill of lion, leopard and elephant tracking, there are pristine white sands waiting along the Indian Ocean, the other worldly landscapes of Lake Turkana and the beautiful tribes of the northern Chalbi desert to discover,” says a the endorsement from the travel publication.
On Tuesday, the Kenya Association of Tour Operators (Kato) Coast branch chairperson, Ms Monika Solanki, said the country’s recognition by Rough Guides was a major boost to the tourism sector.
She said the latest ranking was a major achievement.
“It demonstrates to the world that Kenya is best for leisure and safari,” she said. “The Kenya Tourism Board should capitalise on the global accolade to help attract more international tourists to the country.”
Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye said the recognition was evidence that the country has among the best tourism products.
He said there was need for the national and county governments to conserve the wildlife, beaches and the local cultures for sustainable tourism.
While urging tourists to visit the country, Rough Guides said: “Go now and you’ll support a struggling tourism industry, while reaping the benefits of having many of Kenya’s most popular attractions all to yourself.”