The Kenyan domestic travel market is incessantly making a visible mark, contributing 59% of domestic spending according to Jumia Travel Kenya Hospitality Report 2017. A big percentage constituting the domestic travelers are the millennials. In its report “How Kenyan Millennials Travel”, Saffir – a travel destination marketing company – refers to this group as netizens who are less conservative, well educated, tech savvy and highly reliant on the mobile phone.
The millennials’ need for experiential travel goes beyond that of their Gen X counterparts, who are often inclined to more relaxed and conventional travel trends. Thus, the millennials are largely influencing the travel market, since travelling is not a luxury but a necessity to them. By 2025, Saffir estimates that the millennials will make up about 60% of the global workforce, consequently, becoming the next big drivers of the travel industry.
Most Kenyan Millennials are spontaneous travelers, represented by 29.6% of the report’s respondents; followed by 24.7% who seek adventures. Both factors are key influencers to related service providers’ marketing and advertising strategies, in a bid to lure as many of the youthful travelers as possible.
For instance, given their spontaneous nature, the millennials tend to travel often but spend less on budget. To meet them at their very point of need, we see an increase in promotional offers from travel agents, airlines, and hotels such as the ongoing Easter Competition by PrideInn Hotels, following the recognition of PrideInn Paradise Beach Hotel as the Best in Kenya 2017; at the Kenya Travel Awards held earlier this month. Creating such online competitions not only entices the millennials who are mostly on social sites, but also acts as a publicizing tactic by creating online buzz and guaranteeing increased positive reviews as well as future referrals.
As one would expect, the Saffir report also notes that 51.6% of millennials travel in groups, of which majority (66.7%) prefer a group of 4-10 people. This trend is rooted on the social nature of the millennials who enjoy group adventurous activities as compared to relaxed hotel stays.
The Kenyan traveler’s behavior is changing, and the millennials especially, have unique triggers that cause them to travel. Websites and social media searches, as well as online reviews are heavy influencers that cannot be underplayed. A third of Kenyan millennials book their travel online meaning a majority are still offline. It is for this reason that Cyrus Onyiego, the country manager of Jumia Travel Kenya noted the online travel agency aims at rolling out more offline agencies this year, to reach and “convert more travelers still wary or not conversant with the internet of things”.
These are among other trends like the preferred payment methods (48.8% – mobile), length of stay (75.2% – 1 to 3 nights), spending analysis (35.4% – accommodation), and preferred accommodation (26.4% – Bed and Breakfast). Of importance to note is that the Kenyan Millennials are mostly keen on the value of good service provided (67.1%), followed by favorable price at a distance second with 23.7%, according to the report by Saffir.
Credit: Josephine Wawira