Youth travel as a potential market segment for tourism industry among the young travelers in Nairobi, Kenya
Kihara, C. W.
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The study was conducted in Nairobi National park in Nairobi County and focused on assessing youth travel as potential market segment for the tourism industry in Kenya. Exploratory and descriptive survey design was adopted in this study using a sample size of 140 that was selected using purposive sampling from the youth population of 1,319,131 aged between 15-30 years. The study used secondary and primary data to achieve the objectives of the study. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. The data was then sorted, coded and analyzed using statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Multi-way cross tabulation with chi-square and percentages were used to analyze the respondents‟ data. Pearson Moment Correlation was used to establish relationship between dependent and independent variables. Multi variance regression analysis was used to ascertain whether travel limiting factors were significant in predicting frequency of youth travel. Factor analysis was used to determine youth travel motivations factors. The study found out that youth travel in Nairobi is largely domestic. Majority of youth travellers are students, aged below 25 years and have high levels of education. Using factor analysis approach five travel motivations were derived namely: seeking new experiences, adventure, relaxation, recognition and social contact. Positive and significant relationship was established between travel motivations and tourist destination choice. In addition, previous experience and significant others were perceived as the most popular sources of travel information. Coastal beaches, national parks and game reserves were found to be the most preferred tourist attractions. Further, the study established that the majority of youth travellers prefer low cost accommodations while personal cars and tour buses are the most preferred modes of transportation. A positive relationship between preference for tourist products and services and frequency of travel was established. Structural and interpersonal constrains were perceived as the most likely limiting factors to travel. Negative but insignificant relationship between frequency of travel and travel limiting factors was established though travel awareness, influence by significant others and family were found to be significant in predicting frequency of youth travel. The study also found out that majority of youth travellers in Nairobi plan their travel independently and travel in groups. Based on the findings of this study it can be concluded that there is long term potential in this market and can make unique contribution to sustainable tourism practices in Kenya. It is therefore suggested that Kenyan government to recognize this market and incorporate youth travel policies. Moreover, there is a need for tourism marketers and providers to target this market with the right offers, diversify the tourist products and play a more active role in marketing youth travel market both locally and internationally. This will act as an enticement to both domestic and international youth travel market.