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Tanzania edges Kenya in mid-income tourism

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY LOLA OKULO

TANZANIA is the most sought after destination for leisure travel especially among middle income class while Kenya is tenth, a new survey by online travel agency CheapOair shows.

The survey showed that a decrease cost of a return ticket to the top ten destinations has led to the rise in popularity among tourists, especially now when most are looking for budget leisure packages.

Of all the top ten destinations, Kenya was the only one where ticket prices rose slighly by one per cent whereas the rest had a drop in air fare suggesting the country is losing out due to cost of travelling here.

In the ranking, Tanzania was followed by Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam and Ecuador was fifth with ticket prices to this destination dropping by 17 per cent in first half 2013 compared to the same period last year resulting in bookings increase of 38 per cent.

Tanzania emerged top, the survey indicated, because of the popularity of the mount Kilimanjaro with bookings rising up by 49 per cent and air fare dropped by six per cent.

CheapOair’s travel specialists indicated in the survey that customers not only take advantage of airfare deals to exotic destinations but also maximize the time they spend there.

"For example, visitors to Ecuador can travel to the Galapagos Islands, world renowned for their unique wildlife. Similarly, those who travel to Tanzania in Africa can explore the Serengeti or spend a few days on the beaches in Zanzibar," said the report.

CheapOair quotes ticket prices for over 450 airlines across the world as well as current rates for hotels, cars on hire, vacation spots and tour companies.

“By comparing flight deals on CheapOair, customers can utilize savings to enhance their trips in other ways,”said chief commercial officer at CheapOair Chris Cuddy.

Last week, Ministry of tourism released industry report for financial year 2012/2013 that showed that earnings dropped by 7.4 per cent to Sh96 billion while visitors were also fewer at 1.1 million compared to the 1.2 million people that visited in the previous year.