By Jimmy Kariuki
United Arab Emirates is now the leading destination of choice for Kenyans, a new study shows. The study by Travelport shows a 2 per cent increase an equivalent of 675 people, traveling to the UAE from Nairobi from the 1st August 2017 to 31st July 2018.
The study also shows a 47 per cent increase in the number of people going to Pakistan an equivalent of 631 people. Egypt, Nigeria and Malaysia formed the top three destination for Kenyans in Africa at 492, 462 and 449 people in the same period respectively.
According to Travelport’s Regional Managing Director for Africa Mr. Guido Verweij, “the data suggests the volume of overall bookings made in Kenya to international destinations has largely remained steady over the last 12 months.’’
He said that the countries that have experienced growth have not been those with large booking volumes like India, Uganda and China. “Instead, it’s come from trips to countries like Pakistan and Spain, which have lower volumes. This highlights the power of analytics tools as they enable travel agents and airlines to identify trends like this in real-time and respond accordingly,‘’ he added.
The recent establishment of the Dubai Visa Processing Centre in Nairobi, has been cited as a key reason for the increased number of Kenyans going to the UAE, while increase in bookings to Pakistan may have been linked to a spike in people traveling home of Eid Al Adha, which fell in September last year.
The study was done through Global distribution systems (GDS) networks that allow travel agents, companies and large corporations, among others, to search and book airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel related items.