Image of Enashipai Resort/Courtesy biznews
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By Correspondent

A significant growth was seen in Kenya’s travel industry in 2017 as it continued to recover from insecurity setbacks that rocked the country over the review period this is according to market research and analytics firm, Euromonitor International. In their 2017 report showed innovative initiatives by the Kenyan government came up with a number of strategies aimed at promoting its travel and tourism industry which include tax exemption on all air ticketing services, lifting a ban that restricted government agencies from holding meetings, seminars and conferences in private hotels, a reduction on airlines landing charges and incentives for charter airlines companies.

Online travel sales across the various travel categories continued to record significant growth in 2017. Growth in online sales was driven by the rising penetration of affordable internet, with improving internet infrastructures such as 3G and 4G services, expansion of online payment platforms and an increasing number of tech-savvy consumers. In addition, the rising proliferation of affordable smartphones and an increased usage of internet-enabled devices such as tablets and PCs continued to boost online travel sales during the review period.

Courtesy Euromonitor

Growth in the country’s travel and tourism industry was highly apparent during 2017 as several companies focused on establishing new brands in Kenya. Hotel chains such as Pullman Hotel, Lazizi Premier Hotel, Park-Inn by Radisson group and Four Points Hotel by Marriot International focused on establishing new outlets in the country to tap into growing demand for lodging and accommodation. The entry of Airbnb in short-term rentals is also set to intensify competition in the lodging industry as travelers are expected to take advantage of Airbnb’s lower prices compared to the rates offered by hotels.

Players within the travel industry are increasingly focusing on package holiday sales, as this is the most popular way of going on holiday in tougher economic times. As a result, tour and travel companies such as Bonfire Adventures and KQ Holidays, which are owned by Kenya Airways and Bountiful Safaris, are now offering package holidays to various tourist destinations at discounted rates.

Growth is expected to remain positive over the forecast period with the Kenya Tourism Board making efforts to promote the country globally as a tourism destination. The forecast period is expected to see the Kenyan government continuing to promote its tourism industry internationally through global exhibitions such as at the annual London World Travel Market exhibition and through international media such as Cable News Network (CNN), as well as by offering perks such tax incentives to boost inbound arrivals and travel sales.

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