A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BUT NOT NEARLY ENOUGH
(Posted 03rd January 2018)
Information received this morning from Nairobi suggests that Kenya Railways has finally yielded to public pressure and in particular pressure from the travel and tourism fraternity, and doubled the advance booking period.
Effective immediately will passengers now be able to book their train ticket up to 30 days in advance, up from the previous 14 days while group bookings can now be made up to 32 days in advance of the travel date, again up from the previous 16 days.
This will no doubt make it easier for Kenyans to make and confirm their bookings but for international tourists and their local safari operators does the problem persist that they cannot be assured of a seat on the train to be firmly booked when all other services for them, flights including domestic ones, accommodation and related services are often firmed up half a year in advance or even longer.
‘If we have to wait until a month in advance, what if we find that the train we want is fully booked already. If we are to include a train ticket in a safari itinerary, we must be sure when the client books his trip, sometimes many months ahead of their travel. Airlines and hotels all use booking software which allows for confirmations way in advance. Why can Kenya Railways not be following such leads? Why do this piece meal approach. The are not very marketing savvy I must say, they have a lot to learn but I wonder if they are able to learn fast enough. It has been a rough journey until now with them, now while on the train but everything around it‘ ranted a regular Nairobi based source working in the safari sector.
Watch this space for breaking and regular news from across Eastern Africa.