According to the latest report released by the Kenya Tourism Board, 96% of Indian travellers visit the country for its natural beauty and wildlife experiences, with majority of this market coming from Mumbai, Delhi or Ahmedabad.
India is Kenya’s fifth-largest source market, with tourism arrival figures closing at 125 032 last year, translating into a 6.7% increase compared with 2017.
However, KTB notes: “The Indian travel market has, in the last two years, experienced a slow-down that was occasioned by fiscal changes effected by the Indian government, which affected consumer spending. The trend was also witnessed in South Africa, which is one of the top destinations in Africa by Indians.”
According to consumer research conducted by KTB, 66% of respondents who took part in the studytravelled to Kenya from Delhi, Mumbai or Ahmadabad; 95% visited Kenya to witness its natural beauty and to embark on a safari; and 50% said an attractive package and free accommodation were part of the reason for visiting Kenya.
Stand-out adventurers tend to be the youngest Indian travelling group to Kenya, as well as the group with the highest income. Of this group, 49% have visited Kenya, and 73% have planned a trip to Kenya in the near future as they consider it best for touring, safaris, cultural heritage, with a wide array of leisure activities and high-quality infrastructure for tourists.
Indian travellers, according to KTB, are attracted to Kenya’s natural beauty, rustic ambience and cultural heritage – which offer countless photographic opportunities – in addition to its wildlife experiences, including the Big Five, and zebra and giraffe, which are not found in Asia.
As for its coastal offerings, beaches such as Diani, Lamu, and Bamburi offer a wide range of activities that are popular amongst these travellers.
KTB further reported that prehistoric cultural heritage in Kenya and African art are becoming an increasingly popular attraction amongst Indian travellers.
Other drawcards for this market include the climate; free e-visa and visa on arrival, making it convenient for Indian visitors; as well as its food, which plays an integral part, as Indian cuisine, whether vegetarian or meat-based is widely available across the country.
“Kenya’s authentic wildlife experiences, natural environment, scenic charm, world-class beaches, hospitality with friendly people and its vibrant nightlife provide a perfect combination for a memorable holiday which Indians nowadays seek when choosing an overseas vacation,” reads KTB’s report.
India is the second-fastest-growing outbound travel market, with 35 million outbound tourists recorded in 2017. It is expected to grow to 50 million by 2020 according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
According to KTB, Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat are the three Indian states contributing significantly toward outbound travel.