Youth aged between 18 and 35 years are more likely to travel for leisure than any other age group, reveals a NationNewsplex review of domestic tourism data.

Nearly seven per cent of young adults aged 18-35 travelled for leisure – holiday, visit to a cultural event or exhibition – in the three months preceding the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) 2015-2016. This was almost double the proportion of individuals aged 36-65, who made a leisure trip over the same period. Children aged 0-17 came second at six per cent while those over 65 had the lowest proportion with less than two per cent.

Overall, just about six per cent of Kenyans travelled for leisure and took an average of six days on their trips in the three months leading to the survey.

On average, the youth spend about six days on a leisure trip while people aged 36-65 spend about five days. Children spend about eight days on vacation, the longest, while the old travellers take less than two days.

Mr Aloyo Eshiwani, the founder of travel agency FunTravel Kenya, says many of his young clients prefer to take weekend group trips.

Overall, just about six per cent of Kenyans travelled for leisure and took an average of six days on their trips in the three months leading to the survey.

Generally, one in seven Kenyans travelled out of their usual environment for various reasons over the three months preceding the survey, according to figures from the latest KIHBS report. Two in five domestic tourists (43 per cent) are aged between 18-35 years, the largest share.

Domestic tourism involves travelling to and staying at least over a night in places outside the travellers’ usual environment within the country in a period of not more than 12 months for leisure, business (excluding travel for employment) or other purposes.

“The young traveller is a very interesting one, they are more spontaneous in their planning, and they are very adventurous,” says Ms Judy Kepher-Gona, a lead consultant at Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda.

Almost a third (29 per cent) of those who travelled within Kenya were aged between 36 and 65 years, followed by children (a quarter) and those above 65 years (four per cent).

Friends and family

Two-thirds of Kenyans who travel mainly visit friends and relatives followed by engaging in study and professional activities (11 per cent) and attending social gatherings (10 per cent).Other reasons for travelling include visiting second residence (five per cent), religious (four per cent), medical treatment (two per cent), sports (0.5 per cent), honeymoon (0.2 per cent) and other reasons (four per cent).

On average, the highest number of days were taken for medical treatment (10 days), followed by visit to second residence (nine days), professional (seven days), leisure and visiting friends and relatives (five days).

Four in five of those who travelled took only one trip, a trend that was evident across all age groups.

The highest proportion of people who travelled more than six times were aged 65 and above (four per cent), followed by 36-64 (2.2 per cent), 18-35 (two per cent) and children (0.7 per cent).

Trip spending

A majority of those who took a trip (two-thirds) reported that they sponsored themselves.

A fifth of children aged between 0-17 years catered for their own expenses while the rest were sponsored. More than three-quarters of adults aged 18-35 years were self-sponsored while over 85 per cent of people in the last two age groups paid for their trip and other expenses.

Travelling is an expensive affair, with two in five shillings spent on domestic tourism being used on transport. The second largest expenditure was shopping for personal use (13 per cent), presents (12 per cent), and food and drinks (10 per cent).

“It is un-African to visit a relative without shopping or a gift, thus we spend a huge sum of money on them,” says IT specialist Victor Wafula, who lives with his parents in Nairobi and travels with them to Nyeri every Christmas and Easter holidays to visit his grandparents.

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