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KES 8.8 bn spent by Kenyans abroad

18 October 2012, 10:54 Roggers Momata

In a review based on cross-border spending via visa-branded payment cards, it emerged that a whooping KES 8.8 billion was spent in last year alone by Kenyans travelling out of the country.

The most notable states being visited by the travelers using the Visa cards as the preferred mode of undertaking their transactions included South Africa, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Last year’s figure was a remarkable increase of 13.7 percent from the previous year’s KES 7.7 billion. An estimated increase of over 20 percent was attached to the number of people who’re said to have joined the Visa-card network, with the months of October and December being termed as the peak seasons for travelers from Kenya.

According to the country’s Visa Manager, Jabu Basopo, the country’s  growing prosperity is to thank for the significant development which not only allows tourists to visit Kenya but also create opportunities for Kenyans themselves to tour the world. “A majority of the Kenyan citizens for the past couple of years have been fond of making use of debit, credit or ATM cards as their preferred forms of plastic money,” said Jabu Basopo.

South Africa, the UK and the UAE are said to have accounted to more than a third of the total spending by Kenyans travelling abroad in the months of July, October and December alone. This translated to about 36.1 percent of the total expenditure which accounted for air transport charges, general merchandise including antiques, wines, clothing and jewellery.

In the review, the occasioned increase in the number of Visa cards in the local markets and several payment points mostly the ATM’s attributed to the significant growth of inbound international travelers.

The Kenyan economy according to analysts is promising to be prosperous should it not be interfered by other factors such as rampant corruption and political instability especially as the nation awaits the forthcoming general elections slated for early next year.

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