Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) has unveiled the findings of Travellers’ Readiness to Travel Post Covid-19 Survey, conducted between August 2020 and October 2020. The survey was commissioned by the National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee, and compiles travelers responses data from over 200 KATA certified travel agents in Kenya.

The survey sought to gather insights on the travel habits of travelers, and how travel has been impacted by COVID-19. Moreover, setting realistic expectations of the trend in the near future, even as they try to promote local travel in the region.

Speaking during the report launch, Agnes Mucuha, the Chief Executive of KATA said, “Rebuilding traveller confidence is key in restarting travel and rebuilding the aviation industry as a whole. Adopting the right technology will help make that a reality and it is a step in the right direction for travel industry decision makers. With safety becoming even more important to today’s travellers, there is a clear need for travel agents and the aviation sector players to differentiate themselves in order to encourage travellers back onto travelling.”

The survey, conducted in partnership with the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) and a joint working team of industry experts, highlighted that traveller confidence levels had significantly dropped, fueled by concerns over the risks of catching COVID-19 during air travel.

The findings showed the following:

Change in Business travel – over 80% of the respondents think that between 50 -75% of their business will be replaced by online meetings moving forward. Another 3% think that all their business-related trips will be replaced by online meetings.

Travellers Preparedness to Travel Again Post-COVID 19 – 65%, 34%, 25% of the respondents are very willing and ready to start to travel again domestically, regionally and internationally consecutively.

Travellers Confidence to Travel Again Post-COVID 19 – 47% of respondents are confident to visit tourist attractions, 44% confident to confident to visit accommodation facilities, 42% of respondents confident to visit Airport Area, 38% of respondents confident to engage in Tourist Activities and 33% of respondents confident on the use of ground transport.

Quarantine – Majority of the respondents were extremely concerned with being quarantined at the destination (76%) followed by contracting COVID-19 (61%).

“For the industry to recover, travellers will need to feel safe and confident that their health is protected. People  are clearly concerned about COVID-19 when traveling. But the travel agents can ensure they build a sense of safety and confidence by helping travellers understand the COVID-19 protocols of both the source country and the destination country,” said Esther Munyiri, Director GTRCMC.

While traveller confidence has significantly been impacted by the pandemic, many have felt that travel restrictions and safety measures taken in airports has boosted travel confidence.

During the launch of the findings, Najib Balala, CS Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife, said that the ministry will continue with its collaborative plan for restarting the country’s tourism sector. He added that the Government has taken action to cushion the blow to tourism, and help the industry to build recovery in 2021 and beyond.