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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

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When and Where? – The Maasai Market, Nairobi, Kenya

The Maasai Market, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s Maasai Market is arguably the best places for first-time visitors looking to experience authentic Kenyan culture.

Offering an array of apparel, handicrafts, accessories and jewellery at excellent prices, these lively day markets are great for local and international guests. The concept of the market is borrowed from the culture of one of Kenya’s most endeared communities, the Maasai.

Depicted in various international Movies and TV shows, the Maasai are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.

Next time you are in Kenya, here’s the when and where of the Maasai Market -:

When

Where

Monday No market on this day.
Tuesday Prestige Plaza along Ngong Road and Kijabe Street Park next to Nairobi River
Wednesday Capital Center along Mombasa rd
Thursday The Junction Mall & along Ngong road
Friday The Village market along Limuru road & Lavington Mall
Saturday The High court parking in the city Center opposite Re-Insurance Plaza & Prestige Plaza along Ngong road
Sunday Yaya Center along Valley Road in Hurlingham