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Fewer Kenyans plan for vacations

Sunday December 21 2014

In what could be an indication of rising cost of living, far fewer Kenyans will travel during this Christmas season compared to the number that did last year.  FILE PHOTO |

Anglo-Saxons later provided Christmas carols, much popularised by the famous writer Charles Dickens. Always seeking opportunity for profit, capitalism commercialised Christmas. FILE PHOTO | AFP

In what could be an indication of rising cost of living, far fewer Kenyans will travel during this Christmas season compared to the number that did last year.

A poll conducted by research firm Ipsos shows that only 16 per cent of those polled will be travelling this season, as compared to 34 per cent who travelled last year.

“This could be attributed to economic strains and security concerns, “says Victor Rateng, the opinion polls project manager.

Even more indicative of a harsher economic period is that a majority of those travelling will put up with relatives, as opposed to getting rooms in hotels or holiday homes.

“Relatives are expected to provide accommodation to most of those travelling during this festive season (82 per cent), while far fewer will seek accommodation in hotels (12 per cent), or in holiday homes/cottages (3 per cent). Only 4 per cent will make day journeys,” states the report.

Towns within Kenya are the preferred travel destinations for an overwhelming 98 per cent of Kenyans, with only 2 per cent saying that they intend to venture out of the country.

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The number of those leaving the country for the holidays has steadily dropped from 4 per cent in 2012, 3 per cent in 2013 and 2 per cent this year.

The most popular holiday destination is Nairobi which will attract two out of ten of respondents, with Mombasa lagging far behind at 12 per cent. Other popular towns are Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru. Mombasa could have dropped in popularity due to perceived insecurity.