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US Visitors Pick Kenya As Top Travel Destination

Tourists in one of Kenya's parks
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Written by See Africa Today

At least 30 percent of travelers planning to visit Kenya in the next three months are from the US, a new report indicates.

They are the biggest population of travelers making bookings in Kenya for the next three months, Outlook on Recovery report states.

These travelers are part of 10 international states that pick Kenya as their preferred travel destination.

Travel Destination Searches

Germany comes in second with eight percent of bookings in the next three months. The UK and UAE come in third with a four percent relative bookings within the same period.

Amadeus search and agency booking provided data for the report. It is a reputable travel and technology company that gave insight by comparing 2020 and 2021 data.

Tourists in one of Kenya's parks

Tourists in one of Kenya’s parks. [Photo: Novi Tour]

In retrospection, the report cites that Kenyans also pick the US as their first choice of destination.

Interestingly, Kenyans travelling to the US prefer longer stays there citing “favourable” Covid-19 containment protocols.

“The most searched destination by Kenyans in June 2021 was the US with 30 per cent of total demand.”

Further, there was a 20 percent search traffic by Kenyans looking for multiple travel destinations for over 20 days.

“The need for longer vacations or stays by Kenyans to various destinations can be attributed to quarantine requirements of about two weeks in various destinations, and a general interest or need for longer vacations which can be seen as making up for restricted travel in 2020,” the report states.

Increased Searches For East Africa Travel

The report further cites that destination searches for East Africa since June 2021 increased. The traffic is from the US, Germany, and the UK.

Domestic travel searches take it all as people look out at exploring their country even more.

In general, 2021 portends a better traveling year compared to 2020 if the searches are anything to go by.

“For instance, the average daily search activity of international travelers interested in Kenya in June was 10 percent higher than the year-to-date average. In July it was already 31 percent above the 2021 average,” adds the report.

Besides a growing demand for Kenyans to travel abroad, they are looking at Tanzania as a top destination in East Africa. Most Kenyans travel to Tanzania for holiday and leisure activities.

Canceled Bookings To Kenya From UK

Outlook on Recovery report comes in the wake of canceled bookings by Tui Group, a leading UK tour operator.

Tui Group canceled holiday flights from Britain to Kenya after the UK government maintained Kenya is a travel risk due to Covid-19.

There was an expectation that Kenya’s travel status in the UK would change with its removal from the “Red list”. The “red list countries” are those with increased cases of Covid-19.

However, Kenya’s positivity rate rises steadily each week, sending the wrong signals to the west. On Wednesday, the country’s positivity rate was at 15%. It grew from 9% in the past two months.

Travelers from flagged countries are not allowed into the UK.

Tourists at Kenya's coast

Tourists at Kenya’s coast. [Photo: Aardwolf Africa Adventure Safaris]

Britons returning home from red list countries are required to quarantine for ten days in hotels.

With Tui Group canceling all holiday reservations for British tourists, Kenya’s tourism industry counts massive losses.

British tourists make up a minimum of 100,000 visitors out of the 1.3 million tourists who visit Kenya annually. Britain gives Kenya the second-highest number of visitors after the US.

In 2019, there were 184,484 British tourists visiting Kenya for holiday.

All holiday bookings between August and September 4 remain canceled. It is not clear yet how many people will miss their planned holiday.

The Great Migration In Maasai Mara

This is a significant blow to Kenya’s tour and travel industry, which cashes in on high tourist turnout between July and September.

The Great Migration of the wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara National Reserve is at its peak during these months.

An estimated two million wild animals cross the Mara River in search of pasture in Kenya. They travel back to the Serengeti towards the end of September.

At the beginning of the season, hoteliers were optimistic that business would be back to normalcy after beating the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Last year, things were challenging due to travel restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic. Only a dozen tourists – most of who reside in Kenya – made it to Maasai Mara.

Most Kenyans stayed home in fear of contracting the virus, which was ravaging the country then. Hoteliers were left grappling with canceled bookings then.

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About the author

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See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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