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African Union passport to increase Africa travel spend by 24 percent

African Union passport to increase Africa travel spend by 24 percent

New research released by global travel technology provider, Sabre Corporation, has revealed that African air travel spend is expected to rise 24% with the introduction of the pan-African passport in 2018.

The new African Union passport will enable African travellers to visit other countries on the continent without a visa.

The comprehensive survey by Sabre aimed to uncover the opportunities and challenges faced by African travellers today, in a bid to help airlines address these to support their own growth and provide travellers a better journey. Travellers from four countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt were surveyed, with those having flown in the past 24 months saying they would spend 24 percent more with the introduction of the passport (from $1,100 to $1,500 annually).

But despite a willingness among travellers to spend more on flights, travel in Africa still remains inaccessible to the majority, with only 23 percent of those surveyed having travelled abroad at all in the last two years. When asked what prevents them from travelling more, the top reasons were:

  • 32% said travel is too expensive
  • 31% said it is difficult obtaining VISAs
  • 30% said it is too difficult to book travel
  • 28% said there are no flights to their chosen destination

Travellers also expressed a number of gripes about their current experiences when travelling:

  • 27% said the check-in process takes too long
  • 22% said the check-in procedure is confusing
  • 20% don’t like the food on aircrafts
  • 19% think there is not enough to do at the airport

“The results suggest that while travel is inaccessible to many and is difficult for those that do travel, there is a still a strong desire to travel more,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Airline Solutions, Sabre.  “Additionally, most of the pain points can be addressed by airlines, and these tweaks could make all the difference to travellers.  African carriers currently face tough competition from international rivals that control 88 percent of African airspace but, as demand for travel increases, African airlines have a real opportunity to win the lion’s share of bookings by addressing the pain points of travellers and going the extra mile to improve their experience.”

Like many other travellers globally, Africans also expressed a strong interest in experiencing a travel journey that was more personalised and tailored towards them.  Respondents said that they would be willing to spend up to $104 per trip on an airline’s extra products and services – such as excess baggage, cabin class upgrades, and special food and beverage – if it improved and personalised their journey.

“Airlines globally currently pocket an average of just $16 per passenger on ancillaries, so the fact that African travellers are prepared to spend six times more than that represents a significant retail opportunity for carriers on the continent,” said Gelmetti.  “Airlines will flourish if they invest in technology that can make sense of customer data and use it to offer passengers the right product in the right context at the right time.  This technology, which empowers airlines to mirror the personalised shopping tactics already mastered by the online retail industry has been proven to increase ancillary revenue by an average of 10 percent, and is being used by some of the world’s most forward-thinking carriers.”

As further encouragement for African carriers, Sabre’s survey respondents stated a number of reasons why people would choose to fly with their local carrier over a foreign airline; the top three reasons were:
  • It offered cheaper tickets
  • It offered the latest technology on board
  • It offered greater comfort on board.

The survey reveals significant growth opportunity for African airlines willing to address travellers’ current pain points

Types of Kenyan Visas

Kenya like many sovereign countries of the world has a document that is granted to foreigners to enter and temporarily remain within the country. The document that is referred to as a Visa is offered in diverse categories with the Single Entry Visa being the default Visa for foreigners.

The types of Visa issued by Kenya include-:

Single Entry Visa
A single entry visa is issued for single entry to persons whose nationalities require visa to enter Kenya either for business, tourism or medical reasons. The visa is valid for 3 months before you travel. Present yourself to immigration control at the port of entry, you may be issued with a stay period not exceeding 90 days.

Fee: $51

The standard fee for multiple journey visas shall be US $ 100 for all nationalities.

Transit Visa
Transit Visas are issued to persons connecting through Kenya to other destinations for a period not exceeding 72 hours. Those connecting flights directly without leaving the airport don’t need to apply for Transit visas.

Fee: $21

Courtesy Visa
This is a visa issued to Diplomatic, Official and Service passport holders coming into the country on official duties, or transiting through Kenya to a third country for official business or duties. It is issued free of charge / gratis.

Fee: $0 (No Charge)

Referred visas (Category 3)
Category 3 Visas are for Nationals of Countries, Classes and Categories Of Persons Who Require Referred Visas according to the laws of Kenya. Find out which countries require Referred Visas here.

The government of Kenya launched online visa application services using the eVisa platform where can now apply and pay your visa online.

 

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Countries exempt from Kenyan Visas

All foreign citizens wishing to travel to Kenya will need an visa, except citizens from countries who are exempt.

The following category 1 countries do not need a visa to enter into the country with some countries having specified conditions.

Barbados Malawi St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Belize Malaysia (For less than 30 days stay) St.Kitts and Nevis
Botswana Mauritius St.Lucia
Brunei Namibia Swaziland
Burundi Nauru Tanzania
Cyprus New Guinea The Bahamas
Darussalam Papua Tobago
Dominica Rwanda Tonga
Fiji Island Samoa Trinidad
Ghana Seychelles Tuvalu
Grenada Sierra Leone Uganda
Jamaica Singapore Vanuatu
Kiribati Solomon Islands Zambia
Lesotho South Africa (For less than 30 days stay) Zimbabwe

 

Other people who hold special privileges do not require a visa to enter into the country. The following persons and circumstances qualify to exempt from requiring a visa.

  1. All persons whose passports are endorsed with valid Kenya re-entry passes or any other written authority in lieu of a re-entry pass.
  2. All passengers arriving and leaving by the same ship, and who do not leave the ship.
  3. All passengers in transit through Kenya arriving and leaving by the same aircraft or transferring to another aircraft and who do not leave the international transit lounges at the International Airports in Kenya.
  4. Holders of United Nations Organization Laissez-Passers whilst on official UN Business.
  5. Holders of African Union Laissez-Passers whilst on official A.U. business.
  6. Holders of African Development Bank Laissez-Passers, whilst on official A.D.B. business
  7. Holders of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official ABEDA business.
  8. Holders of International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official I.R.L.C.O. business.
  9. Holders of Desert Locust Control Organization Laissez-Passers, whilst on official D.L.C.O. business.
  10. Holders of COMESA Laissez-Passers, whilst on official COMESA business. xi. Holders of International Monetary Fund and World Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official IMF/World Bank Business.
  11. Holders of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Laissez- Passers whilst on official IGAD business.
  12. Holders of African Airlines Travel Association (IATA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official business.
  13. Holders of Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) Laissez-Passers whilst on official ELCI business.
  14. Holders of Union of Radio, Television Network of Africa (URTNA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official URTNA business.
  15. Holders of International Labor Organization (ILO) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ILO business.
  16. Holders of Preferential Trade Area/Common Market of East & Southern African Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official PTA/COMESA business.
  17. Holders of European Union Laissez – Passers whilst on official European Union business.
  18. Holders of CIP (International Potato Centre) Laissez – Passers whilst on official CIP business.
  19. Holders of African Reinsurance Corporation (ARC) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ARC business.
  20. Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports from The Islamic Republic of Iran for a period not exceeding (30) Days stay.
  21. Holders of Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, from The Republic of Turkey and members of their families holding valid Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, while on Transit or Stay not exceeding ninety (90) days.
  22. Holders of Diplomatic, Official or Service Passports from the Federal Republic of Brazil for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days.
  23. Serving Members of the British Military (are exempted from visa formalities).
  24. The manifested crew of ships and aircraft passing through or stopping in Kenya for periods not exceeding seven (7) days in the case of air crew and fourteen (14) days for ship’s crew.
  25. Owners of private aircraft stopping over for refueling in Kenya and who do not leave the precincts of the airport.

 

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Countries who need Referral Kenyan Visas

Passport holder of  countries referred to as CATEGORY THREE COUNTRIES are required to submit a paper based application for a visa to the Department of Immigration services. They do not qualify for an eVisa from the government electronic services.

Nationals of the following Category 3  Countries require a referral visa.

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan
Cameroon Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Formerly North Korea) Eritrea
Iraq Kosovo Lebanon
Libya Mali Palestine
Senegal Somalia Syria
Tajikistan  

The categorization takes into consideration the following factors

  • Applicants against whom there is some local objections or doubt in the country where the application is made.
  • Stateless persons or persons not holding valid passports or other travel documents issued by their own country of nationality, including recognized refugee holders of the United Nations Refugee Travel Documents.
  • Prohibited immigrants as enumerated under Section 33 (1) and (2) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.