Why Uganda is the market to go to

Uganda remains Kenya’s key source market in Africa with great potential to grow beyond the current level since the destination serves as an alternative quick getaway.

Uganda as one of Kenya’s leading source markets is currently ranked number one (I) in Africa and number two (2) globally in terms of arrivals into Kenya.   In 2019 Kenya received 215,894 visitors from Uganda, a 5.4% increase over the previous year. 

The key contributing factors for these growth has been:  the open borders, Ugandans need only an ID/resident permit to travel to Kenya, the bulging millennial population in Uganda (nearly 26% of the population according to World Bank), trends on group travel, enhanced accessibility – operating flights: KQ, Jambojet, Rwanda Air and Uganda Airlines which launched a direct flight to Mombasa last year.  Other contributing factors include aggressive marketing campaigns that have been rolled out in the market by KTB in the last four years, namely the #TugendeKenya consumer digital campaign which was spearheaded to interest more Ugandans to visit Kenya. 

The long-term goal for the Market is to make Kenya the top of mind holiday destination for Ugandan travelers. This will ultimately increase the value and volume of tourists that Kenya gets from the Market. 

In 2020, KTB is focused on creating awareness and driving conversion thereby increasing total Uganda arrivals to Kenya. A Co-op Marketing Campaign is to be implemented this year (February) to build into this strategy focusing on Kenya’s core experiences ideal for regional travelers, which include-

  • Beach getaways
  • Special Occasions – Weddings & Honeymoons
  • Short breaks e.g over long weekends
  • Meetings and events 

Target Consumer and Markets

The awareness of Kenya’s tourism offers is considerably high, however, there is room for improvement as about 13% of Ugandan travelers do not know what Kenya has to offer (Firefly WillwardBrown).  Nairobi and the Kenya Coast remain popular destination for the regional travelers.  In most cases, place brands such as Diani, Mombasa, Nairobi are becoming more popular than the overall country brand. 

In Uganda, the following segments are targeted: –

  • ABC1
  • Standout Explorer – 18 – 35 years’ old
  • Glamorous Travellers – 35 – 55 year olds – Class AB
  • Corporates
  • Family

The Uganda traveler will mostly travel for business with a mix of leisure and visiting family and friends. Spend on holiday for Ugandan traveler will be between USD 1,000 and USD 5,000.  Approximately 1 in 6 travelers are likely to spend more than USD 5,000. (research by (FireFly WillwardBrown)