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How Kenyans Travel - Report

A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

How
Kenyans
Travel

This report looks at the decisions Kenyans make before they


book their travel. We take you through the reasons they give for
their travel decisions and explain to you why you must pay keen
Website: www.saffir.co | e-mail: hello@saffir.co | phone: (+254) 733 835 309, (+254) 725 470 242
attention to the new-age traveller; the millennial!
1
How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Introduction All the innovations around travel today


from social media, vlogging, mobile
payments, mobile applications, review
We are delighted to share with you the
sites among others are driving the
report of our first study on Kenyans
industry towards greater customer-
travel habits. This is the first of many
eccentric models.
studies we intend to undertake in order
to understand the Kenyan market
To survive in the future, industry
better.
players will have to focus more on the
customer before pushing out specials.
We are trying to frame the current We have sought to grasp the traveler’s
domestic traveler using data gathered behaviour by framing questions around
on their interests, touch-points, payment the widely accepted stages of a travel
choices, destination preferences etc. consumer’s journey namely;
This report lays the foundation for a
deeper comprehension of the needs of
the Kenyan traveler. Inspiration -> Planning ->
Booking -> Experience ->
Today’s traveler can access more Sharing
options and loads of information in a
matter of minutes at the tap of their It is generally accepted that travelers go
fingertips. With one search, they are through these phases before they pack
able to pull in hundreds of results from bags and go. First, the dream phase
websites, social media, video, blogs, sets everything in motion, followed by
review sites and on-line travel agents. the planning phase where the idea is
While more information is available fine tuned, options reviewed before a
on-line, is the industry aware what the final booking decision is made. The
customer is looking for so as to target actual travel experience is almost
the buyer better? always followed by sharing on-line.

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Study Summary Who responded?


18-22 yrs
The study was conducted by Saffir 52% 48% 2%
23-29 yrs
Africa during the period between 1st - 41%
23rd August. We sent out questionnaires 30 -36 yrs
35%
using email and social media channels. 37 -43 yrs
From our efforts and the support of 19%
44 + yrs
partners, we received 300 complete 3%

responses which formed the basis of 52% of all respondents were female. Majority were
between 23-43 years old
the findings in this report.

Key goals
Grasp the forces that influence travel within Kenya by Kenyans.
Understand the variables that influence a travel consumer’s choices,
such as group size, cost, accommodation options, leisure activities etc.
Gather new insights about the Kenyan traveler that will help industry
players get more proactive in developing products.

Understanding the buyer process


According to Google,
DREAMING
a travel buyer process
has 5 distinct steps. To
understand how Kenyans
travel better, we based
SHARING
BUYING PLANNING
our questions around
CYCLE the 4 steps of Dreaming,
FOR TRAVEL
Planning, Booking and
Experiencing travel.
EXPERIENCING BOOKING

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

FINDINGS

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

1 Travel Traits
This set of questions seeks to establish but end up closing off-line. According
a baseline of travel habits. These form to Vacay CEO David Kimani, a seizable
a pattern that tends to influence how number of bookings start on-line but
subsequent travel decisions are made. ultimately get finalised off-line. We expect
to see more non traditional booking
flows like Direct Message bookings,
chatbots, and use of messaging apps.
31 %
Quarterly

When possible
31 %
Frequency of travel
We checked with our respondents to see
20 %
Monthly how frequently they travel and we can
8% say over 50% of them travel frequently
Semi-annually making a minimum of four trips a year.
8% However, 31% of the respondents
Annually indicated that they travel when possible.
2% Possibly whenever they can catch a
Not often break from work or financial situation
allows. For these travelers, there’s little
time to plan ahead and they will possibly
Booking preference make the decision within a short period
60% of the respondents make their when the possibility arises.
travel booking on-line. It is possible that
the survey could have a slight bias due
to the fact it was conducted wholly on-
line. The remaining 40% book off-line,
with the possibility that some of these
are hybrid bookings that start on-line,
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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Hotel Nights
From the study, we found that Kenyans
prefer short stays of between one to
three nights stay at a go.
72 % 25 % 3%
1- 3 nights 4 - 6 nights 6 + nights

Travel Personality
This was an open ended, light question to discover the intrinsic motivation of
our respondents. In as much as it cannot be taken with the weight of a scientific
personality test, some of the keywords that arose from the analysis point to a
specific direction.
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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Information
2 Dreaming Phase sources
We sought to find out where
How do Kenyans initiate people find information that
triggers their wanderlust.
their travel plans? At 1% for directories, the data
Every traveler starts somewhere. Something points to the death of traditional
they see, hear or experience creates a desire media at this point with blogs
in them to travel. It could be a picture on your pulling in a higher number than
Instagram time-line, a friend’s experience or a traditional travel agents.
travel bloggers recap of a wonderful trip. So
what gets Kenyans into dreams that result in Travel bloggers have truly come
travel? of age and we’ll be studying the
growth further.

For the Kenyan market,


the industry needs to start
creating more engaging
1% content and use social
Directories
3% media and blogs for some
Video focused storytelling.
8%
Traditional travel agents
15%
Online agents
27%
Search engines
35%
Social media
11%
Blogs

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

What limits Kenyans 2%


Other

from traveling?
26 %
Even with the above information sources Proper
information

a good number of Kenyans are still not 36 %


frequent travelers. So what is the dream Cost

killer? 7%
Time

Clearly, Kenyans would love to travel more


if they could afford it. So the challenge for
the service providers is to lower the cost 20 % 8%
Logistics Security

without lowering the standards and more


travelers will be able to travel . Another
issue that arises from a quarter of the respondents is the lack of adequate
information on destinations to enable them make the decision to travel.

What is the biggest


reason for travel? ?
A majority of the respondents 43% 43% 16% 10% 27% 4%
travel to get away momentarily within Spontaneous
escape
Visiting Family
and Friends
Work Scheduled
holiday
Other

a short notice. On the other hand 27%


travel on a schedule, often around need to look away from traditional
holidays. From these findings, it is scripted holidays and plan all-year-
clear that the Kenyan traveler finds round, short escapes for the Kenyan
quick getaways more compelling than market. If the package is quick, easy
traditional weekends. A big number of and light, Kenyans will take it!
domestic travelers do so on a whim,
for them travel is a necessity and not a
luxury. Marketers and service providers
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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Favourite ic
ra
te
r

destinations
a
e ng
en
,m bungoma
i
ma
gad
thom n
pson atio
Kenya’s coast is the kajiado sa nal am nama
nga
runaway favourite destination ga boseli ukunda
n
for over 70% of the Kenyans e
rus
ld o ret t a malindi

maasai mara
inga urka
we interviewed. The beach is
nairobi a
na
obviously a bigger draw than
s h kilifi
isiolo
va
pokot

id nakuru
any other feature for Kenyans
a
ru samiani
me n
with pristine Diani Beach cited laik
ipia
as the top destination. lewa

m
shimba hills

buru
o
nan mbasanyeri
thompson
suswa ’s falls
Popular inland destinations iten

wa yuk k kitale

kakamega forest
embu

that attract 30% of the kisii


gilgil
tam it isum lamu
respondents include
Naivasha, Masai Mara
and Nanyuki. sa n u vo u arocoast
k
tana elementaita
ururukerich
river o
y a h
n aberdares
If you would like data with mac
hak
more detail for your business La
ke
os
Ch
intelligence, please get ala

in touch.

Our team will help you drill down deeper into


more specific layers of the data you seek.

Website: www.saffir.co | e-mail: hello@saffir.co | phone: (+254) 733 835 309, (+254) 725 470 242 9
How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

4.7 %
Festival & Events

7.1 %
0.3 % Other
Advertising

7.1 %
Culture &
Heritage

8.8 %
Price

42.4 %
22.9 % Fun & recreation
Nature

2.7 %
Nightlife

4%
Food & drink

Biggest destination draw


We also found out what draws Kenyans to a destination. Destination marketers
will be happy to learn from the findings below that nearly half of Kenyans travel
for recreation and fun. Golfing, hiking, cycling and waters-ports are some of the
recreational activities around Kenyan destinations. As per our respondents, nature
is the second biggest draw. Therefore, the perfect destination for most Kenyans is
one set in a scenic natural environment with ample recreational activities.

Website: www.saffir.co | e-mail: hello@saffir.co | phone: (+254) 733 835 309, (+254) 725 470 242 10
How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

3 Planning Phase
How do Kenyans go the dreams into tangible
move from a shortlist of
steps. They
destinations
about actualising their to the time of travel, choice and
cost of accommodation as well as
travel plans? transportation.
Once a traveler is done dreaming,
the next phase involves firming up

Plan ahead; how far ahead?


Majority of Kenyans make plans to travel (87%). However, Kenyans have
extremely short travel cycles with more than half of the people interviewed
needing just a week to 1 month to plan their travel. An additional 30% need two
to three months. Therefore, 80% of Kenyans need one to three months to plan
their travel and only 18% needing more time to plan. The shorter it takes to plan
a trip, the more Kenyans you can expect!

2%
Upto 1 year

18 %
A week or less
15 %
4-6 months
0% 30 % 80 % 90 %

Yes Plan ahead

No
30 %
35 % 2-3 months
1 month

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Financing 7%
Other

By far, the majority of Kenyans


finance their travel through 12 %
Fully sponsored

savings while the rest are fully


75 %
6% Savings
Payments

paid for by others (employer,


in instalments

partner, parent). From our study


a very small number of Kenyan
travelers opt for installment plans
or credit. In our assessment, this
is because the local marketplace
lacks variety in travel financing
tools. We could learn from an Online Tour Agent from Nigeria that has built
massively around a travel installment plan.

A few local travel agents and hotels have installment plans but it appears that not
much marketing has been done around those.

Payment modes
31 %
Cash
Once it comes to finalising the travel
decision, 40% of Kenyans prefer
to pay via mobile money. Perhaps
a testament to the dominant role
3% mobile money plays in our economy.
Cards and cash have a combined
Other

40 %

57% of the payments. Those doing


Mobile money

business in this sector must be able


26 %
Credit/Debit Card to offer clients these three payment
options at all times.

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Travel group size


From our findings, Kenyans prefer to travel in small groups to traveling solo. They
prefer to experience travel with others, preferably a partner, friends or family.
For most of the respondents that preferred travel in a group of friends, the ideal
number was with four to ten individuals per group.

?
16% 21% 39% 21% 3%
Alone Family Group Couple Other

2.6 %
10-25 people

60.4 %
4-10 people 5.6 % Players need to
The More the merrier
embrace group travel
0.4 % and have products
(from transport to
None

7.5 % accommodation)
two people
that address group
interests and
dynamics.
23.5 %
2-3 people

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Nonetheless, Bed &


4 Experience Phase Breakfasts emerge the
single most popular
Once the customer has made a booking, the next option with Kenyan
stage of the process is all about their contact points travelers. Consistent
with service providers during their travels. We with earlier findings that
established a snapshot of Kenyan’s preferences in people want cheap, no
regard to accommodation, transportation, spending frills travel plans.
habits, INTERNET connectivity among others.
Self-catering
Preferred Accommodation accommodation is
The accommodation is an important part of the also quite popular with
travel experience. From our findings, there’s some apartments and villas
fragmentation in preferences with a narrow margin getting nearly the same
across the choices. numbers as resorts.

7%
Camping
7%
Apartments
15%
Villas
26%
BnB
7%
Glamping
23%
Resorts
10%
Lodges
3%
Homestay
2%
Other

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

24.6 %
3.9 %
Nature 2.2 %
What draws people to
hotels?
Nightlife
Price

12.9 %
Fun & Recreation We also wanted to understand better
7.5 %
1.1 %
Culture
&

what draws people to hotels. Some do


Food & Drink Heritage

better than others because they meet


42.4 % 3.5 %
various guest criteria better. The quality
Fun & recreationOther

of accommodation is the single biggest


draw for Kenyan travelers with the
44.3 %
The Accommodations

price coming second. Hotels should


seek ways to assure their clients quality service and streamline their operations
across the board to ensure clients receive impeccable service during their stay.
As for hotel chains, they must go the extra step to ensure quality of service is
standardized across their properties.

Preferred
Transportation
We found that Kenyans generally prefer Air emerges as second most popular
to travel in personal vehicles (46%), air means of transport as evidenced by
(27%) and tourism service vehicles the high traffic between the coastal
like open top vans and off road, four- destinations and Nairobi. Going
wheel drive vehicles (16%). From this forward, it is possible that travelers’
analysis, Kenyans would prefer self- appreciation for the train will improve
drive trips due to the convenience of once there’s a friendlier schedule and
transportation in private vehicles. booking system than it is currently.

27.1 % 9.5 % 46.1 % 1% 16.3 %


Air Public service Private Rail Tourism Service
vehicle Vehicle Vehicle

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

Budget analysis
In an attempt to understand how Kenyan travelers budget for their travel, we
looked at the accommodation, transportation, meals and recreation spend.
For the industry, this analysis is important because it helps us understand how
travelers perceive value especially for packaged holidays.

26 % 38 % 24 % 12%
Food & Accommodation Transport Recreation
beverage

WiFi Loyalty
31.3 % If you are a service provider in this
9.2 % 11.6 %
26.9 % 21.1 %
industry, you would be interested in
what keeps travelers coming back.
not important very important

Kenyans prefer to have WiFi in the


hotels they stay in with a combined
78% saying that wireless connectivity
is important to extremely important 2.2% 2.9% 20.4% 74.5%
for their stay. Simply put, hotels must
Quality of Unique
provide their guests with fast and free Distance Infrastucture
accomodation Experiences
WiFi to improve guests’ experience.

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

CONCLUSION

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How Kenyans Travel - Report
A study of the travel habits of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07

5 Conclusion This allows the thrill-seeking more to


spend on recreational activities at the
This report focused on the Kenyan destination, in some cases, repeatedly.
traveler within Kenya. It provided an
opportunity to evaluate the changing The popularity of the personal vehicle for
tastes of Kenyans who travel, and are mobility hints at a digital savvy traveler
active on-line. who prefers the comfort of being in
control of their journey, perhaps to allow
We presented data on group travel, room for more spontaneity beyond the
importance of connectivity for the main itinerary - to capture moments
digital savvy travelers, duration of for social sharing. It also allows for
time taken to plan for travel and stay, better comfort and flexibility for families
a general view of top destinations in traveling with young children for leisure.
Kenya, the main draw to properties
and destinations for Kenyan travelers, As a tourist who relishes in sharing their
mode and means of payment for travel, experience in real time, on-line, for all
budget allocations for various aspects to see, the Kenyan vacationer places
of a trip, decision-making factors for the a high importance on good access to
journeys, reasons for and frequency of Internet connection. It helps extend
travel and preferred mode of transport their own experience beyond their
for this on-line traveler. stay. Modern technology has made
every traveler a storyteller, with each
The Kenyan traveler is ready to enjoy individual on social media today having
recreational journeys in a group, an immediate and bigger sphere of
and is sensitive to the cost aspect influence than, say, a Kenya celebrity
of travel. Group travel allows one to in the year 2005. This also means that
save on transport costs and in some every Kenyan now has an opportunity
cases accommodation rates can to influence in-bound travel shopping
be pre-negotiated for the group to beyond our borders.
yield a significant saving per person.

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In addition to this, theHowincreased
Kenyans use Travel
There- Report
is need to encourage ordinary
of smart phones is givingof travelers
A study travelers
the travel habits to create content around
of Kenyans 06/Sept/‘07
new ways to curate and share content their experiences so as to harness
about their travels; this has left hoteliers the power of social media influence
with little control over their own image on future travel shoppers. This can be
- good or bad. All the service providers done by understanding the behaviour
can do for the Kenyan vacationer, of the buyers across the phases of
who is mainly a short-stay individual, the buying cycle, and customising
who values quality, and affordable the approach for each category. That
accommodation, is focus on their way, the industry can provide the
experience. domestic travelers with better services,
customise the messaging and connect
The preference overall, for short- better with buyers.
stays means there is opportunity in
developing more varied and attractive
packages for three- to four-day stays
that are action-packed.

Saffir® is a travel destination marketing company that explores


the latent potential of destinations and properties, while creating
multiple experiences for guests in one trip. Saffir leads in technology,
new media and innovative promotion of tourism and travel sector.

Saffir includes a team of event-design, content creation, marketing,


public relations, data aggregation, hotel revenue management and
travel experts who share a passion for experiential travel. Saffir
clients can expect a revamp of their product yielding multiple,
frequent| phone:
Website: www.saffir.co | e-mail: hello@saffir.co revenue (+254)
streams. Saffir
733 835is309,
based in Kenya.
(+254) 725 470 242 19