KENYA Airways will commence four-weekly flights between Nairobi and New Delhi on May 15, with further plans to expand its reach in India to four other cities soon.
The airline currently operates 10 weekly Mumbai-Kenya flights.
Tasneem Sharafally, director, Mumbai-based Global Destinations said: “Kenya is becoming increasingly popular for family vacations. (Travellers) want (Kenya’s) safari and luxury outdoor accommodation.”
Sharafally expects an increase in business for the summer holiday season, driven by additional connections to other African destinations via Nairobi.
Jennifer Opondo, head-marketing, Kenya Tourist Board, said: “Historically India and Kenya have had a good amount of trade and visits, as there is a large Indian migrant population in Kenya. We are culturally familiar with each other. This makes for a good platform to increase Indian (arrivals) to our country.”
Kashmira Irani, director of Mumbai’s Maher Tours & Travels, noted that Indian leisure traffic to Kenya had been growing, “compared to Indians mainly visiting friends and relatives”.
“This is a healthy trend and a sign of good growth,” Irani said.
India is Kenya’s largest Asian source market and the fifth largest worldwide. Kenya Tourist Board aims to grow Indian tourist arrivals from 58,986 in 2011 by 15 to 20 per cent in 2012. Most of the tourists and business travellers to Kenya are from the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, followed by New Delhi in the north.