Tech savvy travellers demand better from sector
Travellers are demanding more information on travel and hospitality sectors be placed online.
Increasingly, Kenyans are using online services to choose destinations, book air and train (SGR) tickets, taxis and hotel rooms. To find offers of value, travellers ‘nearly always’ use a combination of travel review sites such as TripAdvisor (49 per cent in Kenya and 42 per cent globally).
Travelport’s 2019 Global Digital Traveller Research, which surveyed 23,000 people from 20 countries, including 500 Kenyans, says price comparison sites such as Kayak.com (46 per cent in Kenya and 38 per cent globally) are increasingly being used. Also gaining popularity are recommendation sites such as kiwi.com (46 per cent in Kenya and 36 per cent globally), while half have conversations with travel consultants (47 per cent in Kenya and 31 per cent globally).
Interestingly, more than three quarters (77 per cent) of Kenyan travellers highlight free WiFi as a must when deciding on hotel accommodation, while 68 per cent (against a global average of 56 per cent) value having a smartphone-based concierge feature is.
This means during this festive season, hotels and restaurants in Kenya without WiFi will be less preferred. It also means even bus companies, car hire operators have no option, but to offer online bookings, especially as the SGR is fully booked from last week to New Year and air tickets prices are rising.
Three in five (61 per cent) of Kenyan travellers get frustrated when they are unable to access their booking information round-the-clock on mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches. This is considerably higher than the global average (45 per cent).
Commenting on the findings of the research, Nita Nagi, Director of Travelport Kenya says Kenyans want an experience from travel providers and travel agents that is as simple and engaging and founded on excellent customer service. “For Kenyans, technology is key to this —from serving relevant and personalised offers to providing attractive propositions from trusted sources,” she said.