International bookings to East Africa has grown by 11 per cent. This is according to an analysis conducted by FowardKeys, a travel data company. The analysis also revealed the main origin markets that included the UK which recorded 13.2 per cent ahead, Germany at 21 per cent ahead, The USA at 21 per cent ahead, France 16.1 per cent ahead, the Netherlands is 16.6 per cent ahead, South Africa is 9.4 per cent ahead and India is 34 per cent ahead.
Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys, said: “We are seeing a tale of two Africa’s, with North African countries suffering from political instability and terror activities and Sub Saharan African countries powering ahead, with Ethiopia up 9.6 per cent, Tanzania up 10.6 per cent, Mauritius up 11.6 per cent and Kenya up 14.9 per cent. South Africa is up 11.4 per cent”
International capacity in the periods Q3 2015 – Q2 2016 and Q3 2016 – Q2 2017, Nairobi grew 0 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, Kigali 5 per cent and 4 per cent respectively and Kilimanjaro 11 per cent and 20 cent respectively. Whilst a 2 per cent growth for Nairobi may not sound so impressive, its capacity is around four times that of Kigali.
The report predicts that trend is likely to continue in East Africa as observed from the International bookings for travel to East African countries, which up to the end of December are 17.3 per cent ahead of where they were the same period last year.
David Worsley, an international event organizer says the investment in infrastructure by some african countries is driving up this trend. “If what is happening in countries such as Rwanda becomes a yardstick against which other East African countries measure themselves, I would expect this strong growth to continue.”
Rwanda is currently in the process of constructing a new airport 25km outside Kigali, with the ability to cater for 4.5 million passengers per year, seven times today’s traffic. The national airline Rwandair has also invested in new aircraft while the government is actively promoting Rwanda as a destination for conferences and exhibitions.