Eight African countries have emerged as most preferred places where Africans able to pay for air ticket feel they would like to visit, according to study by Sabre, American travel technology provider.
The firm polled 5,000 people including Kenyans, South Africans and Nigerians on various aspects of air travel and visa openness on the continent.
Those polled said that if visa restrictions and air travel pains were eliminated and they could travel more freely, the countries top of their lists to visit are South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Botswana.
They were also asked if they had travelled by plane in the last 24 months. Some 26% said they had – a 2% increase on Sabre’s similar 2016 study.
However, says the study, those that did travel cited that various barriers were preventing them from travelling more often.
The majority said that air travel was too expensive, but many also cited difficulties in obtaining visas and booking flights, delays, queues at the airport, and an overall stressful travel experience as some of the reasons they don’t travel more.
Of those that had travelled, there was a willingness to spend up to 27 percent more on air travel if they could travel visa-free throughout the continent – with most respondents saying they would take 2-3 trips per year compared with the 1-2 they currently take.
More than 90% were also willing to spend more on ancillary services like in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment, and special on-board food and beverages.
Forty-three percent said they would spend over $100 on these ancillaries to improve their travel experience – 26% up on 2016 and still significantly more than global averages.
“It is encouraging to see that a greater number of people have been able to access air travel over the past three years,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president sales, Middle East and Africa in statement Tuesday.
“However, our research shows that there is still a long way to go to make travel affordable and accessible. The majority of our respondents’ barriers to travel are within an airline’s control, and investing in the latest technology can significantly improve the whole flight experience – from booking to the day of travel.”