Watamu Beach from the luxurious Hemingways Watamu Resort
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By Lilian Gaitho

A survey by Jumia Travel focusing on travel trends for the Easter weekend, indicate that despite the constraints on the economy, local tourism continues to make its mark with Kenyans still ‘beach-bound’ for the Easter weekend.

Highlights:

  • At 42%, more travelers the Kenyan Coast is the most sought after destination, as compared to the other regions
  • Three Star hotels take lead at 34%. Easter weekend seems to be a family holiday, with Kenyans favoring seeking to strike a balance between amenities and affordability.
  • Nakuru and Naivasha still lead the park in “county” tourism, owing to their diverse attractions, especially the Rift Valley ecosystem
  • Short haul destinations such as Naivasha and the Mount Kenya region are rising in popularity.

1. Demand by region:

The coast region leads at 42%, almost doubling city travel which is majorly represented by Nairobi at 23%, Naivasha and Nakuru take third place at 20%. While Nairobi makes a perfect destination for those ending the week’s business with a bleisure trip (leisure+business getaway), Nakuru and Naivasha are favored as a short-haul destination by locals; easily accessed via adventurous road trips and without the hassle associated with long haul travel such as flights, and terrain driving. Being an off-season for the Mara triangle, the later comes in as the least popular. Perhaps due to lack of destination awareness, travelers tend to associate Mara region with the seasonal wildebeest migration, while missing on the bounteous wildlife and scenery that make the region. This has led to the same receiving a low number of visitors during slow and shoulder seasons.

Regions in Kenya with Highest Number of Local Tourists for Easter

2. Popular Beach Destination

The coast is still the most preferred destination, owing to the age-old notion of associating vacations with Ocean, Sun n’ sand. Leading on the top of the most popular beach is Bamburi at 24% followed closely by Nyali at 23%, with Diani taking third place at 17%.

3. Popular National Parks

Amboseli National Park leads at 29%. Ease of access by road, the new rains which have favored the presence of wildlife hence making it easier for animal sightings and the fact that compared to other parks, Amboseli is viewed as more exclusive and off the beaten path. Lake Nakuru National Park takes the second position at 22% and features as one of the many activities to engage in while spending Easter in the Rift, while The Aberdares comes with the advantage of self-drive. Both destinations are popular, for the variety of wildlife, ease of travel, and affordable family accommodation.

Easter Bookings – Data by Jumia Travels

 

4.Demand by Star Ranking

   
% Bookings Star Rank
5% 1
26% 2
34% 3
30% 4
5% 5

 

Being a family holiday, travelers are looking for hotels that balance between amenities, family friendly service, and cost. Key amenities for families include childminders, provision of extra beds and cots where need be as well as the family-friendly setting. Another major factor favoring three star stays is the provision of extra activities such as arrangements for sightseeing, park visits, sporting activities and family-oriented entertainment. One star facilities include camping sites, hostels and bed only accommodation mostly centered on basics than comfort or luxury; therefore, tending to attract the younger traveler keener on discovery and adventure rather than the hotel experience.

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