Kenya’s renewed appetite for global travel has spiked the number of visa applications processed in the first half of 2023, with Canada emerging as a lucrative Market.
In the first six months to July 2023 saw Kenya more than double the 2021 volumes, and at hit nearly 80 percent of 2022 volumes.
The insights released by VFS Global an outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, show that Canada, Australia & China have emerged as the top locations for outbound travel in terms of visa application volumes.
VFS Global Head for Sub Saharan Africa, Hariprasad Viswanathan, said that locations like Italy and The Netherlands are also recording a spike in Visa applications.
‘Revenge’ Travel to boom
“Due to the high pent-up travel demand, we expect the increase in international travel from last year to continue this year as well. With the opening of international borders and easing travel restrictions, the industry is witnessing peak ‘revenge’ travel with tourism, family visits, and educational as well as business trips being the common reasons for outbound travel from Kenya,” said Viswanathan
He says that with positive travel outlook and surge in demand for outbound travel in the initial part of this year limited appointment slots will be available.
The firm says that based on the data available in the first half of the year, there is convincing evidence that global travel is on the rise in 2023, including in countries like Kenya.
African Travel Outlook
The surge in travel activity in 2022 took the industry by surprise, exceeding the conservative recovery projections, and is continuing into 2023 with visa application volumes at VFS Global in Kenya more than doubling versus 2021 already.
Foreign travels have become Kenyas new reality where a considerable number of Kenyans, particularly the youth, are seeking opportunities outside the country.
In Africa tourism is having a moment, two years after the sector was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some countries are pushing for an end to intra-Africa visas, while others are revamping memorials, putting up new archeological sites and introducing longer visa tenures to prop up tourism numbers.
By end of the first quarter of 2023, international arrivals across Africa had hit 88 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with North Africa surpassing 2019 levels by 4 per cent in the same period, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation data.