DOMESTIC TOURISM

Men travelled more than women during lockdown, study shows

56.6 per cent of male respondents reported that they had travelled during the Covid-19 pandemic while 43.4 per cent were female

In Summary
  • In a recent survey study, 56.6 per cent of male respondents reported that they had travelled during the Covid-19 pandemic while 43.4 per cent were female.
  • In the pre-Covid-19 period, 70.4 per cent of domestic tourists were male, while 28.3 per cent were female.
Domestic tourists at Jomo Kenyatta Beach in Mombasa during a past Easter Holiday Holiday/
Domestic tourists at Jomo Kenyatta Beach in Mombasa during a past Easter Holiday Holiday/
Image: FILE

Men travelled more than women during the Covid-19 pandemic and even pre- Covid, a new study shows.

In the study conducted by the Tourism Research Institute (TRI), 56.6 per cent of male respondents reported that they had travelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, while 43.4 per cent were female.

The number of females who travelled during Covid-19, however, increased compared to the pre-Covid-19 period as opposed to the number of male travellers that decreased during Covid-19 compared to the pre-Covid-19 period.

In the pre-Covid-19 period, 70.4 per cent of domestic tourists were male, while 28.3 per cent were female.

The countrywide study, which was conducted between October and December 2020, had the majority of respondents hailing from Nairobi, followed by Mombasa at 51 and 12.3 per cent respectively.

The study noted that both before and during the Covid-19 periods, the most popular modes of travel were private cars (42.4 per cent), followed by public road transport and aeroplanes both at 14.2 per cent.

“The overall leading trip expenses both before and during Covid were accommodation, transport and food and drinks in this order. In addition, compared to the pre-Covid period, expenditure on all travel components went down during Covid-19 except for park fees that went up by eight per cent,” the study notes.

In both the during and pre-Covid times, hotel accommodation remained the most preferred by domestic tourists (45 and 36 per cent respectively).

Preference for staying with friends and relatives, resorts, game lodges and Airbnb increased during the Covid period, indicating a preference for staying in less populated places or with trusted persons in terms of health status.

While Covid-19 continues to ravage the tourism sector, mainly depending on domestic tourists, TRI notes that domestic tourism is unlikely to replace international tourism but could act as a contingency strategy during such a crisis.

According to Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala, domestic tourism is key to cushion the sector before international visitors start arriving in large numbers.

In 2019, domestic tourism accounted for 4.9 million bed nights a year. The sector also recorded the highest number of international arrivals totalling 2.048 million.