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Home for the Holidays? Not for Kenyan Millennials Who Favour Experiential Travel Over Christmas

Article by Lena Anyuolo
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Posted: December 04, 2018  

The average Kenyan traveller is a spontaneous adventure-seeker who tends to take trips on a whim rather than go through meticulous pre-planning. A recent study by Saffir Africa, a new-age travel company, shows that 54% of Kenyans travel at the drop of a hat with the average planning time for a trip being not more than three weeks in advance. It also shows that Kenyans typically spend between 3- 5 days at a travel destination.

All these factors combined probably explain why the Christmas holiday season has become the preferred road trips season for Kenyan millennials. The average Kenyan millennial doesn’t enjoy the luxuries of a bumper disposable income, so last minute holiday plans tend to be the norm amongst them.

More to that, Kenyan millennials are ditching the long-standing ushago (upcountry) Christmas tradition of old in favour of seeking more visceral experiences through travel and adventure. The Saffir study found that only 12% travel to visit friends and family.

The reason? Tech. Increased internet penetration is making our world smaller and smaller and at the touch of a button, we can check up on loved ones from all over the world. This gives us more time to travel to new places and curate unforgettable memories.

Kenyan tour operators are cashing in on this new shift, offering enticing road trip and flying packages to popular holidaying spots.

“During Christmas, Dubai, Zanzibar, Maasai Mara and the Coast are the most popular destinations. Dubai is especially popular because of lenient visa requirements for Kenyans and it happens to be low season over there in December, therefore affordable,” says Marcus, a representative of local tour operator Bountiful Safaris. He added, “This year, we’ve noticed a spike in demand for Thailand and Singapore as holiday destinations.”

Social media and an intense wanderlust amongst millennials seems to be the biggest driver of this demand, “Someone might see influencers posting about having fun in Maurituis or Singapore and they’ll want to experience that for themselves. It is a fear of missing out on the trending destinations.”

Kenyans pick destinations based on recreational value and to seek adventure, making group travel the most popular form of travel. The preferred form of accommodation? Simple B&Bs and self- catered apartments or villas. Documenting their travel experience is also a big deal for a millennial, so scenic destinations attract more curiosity.

Are you a Kenyan millennial? Tell us where you are this Christmas on twitter using #MillennialsKE and tag us on @kenyabuzz

About the author

Lena Anyuolo

Lena is a former KenyaBuzz employee.

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