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Enterprise

Three graduates turn travel hobby into business

Foreign tourist at a beach in Diani
Foreign tourist at a beach in Diani. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Most young people love to travel to explore and experience various destinations in the world. This is what most university students spend during their past time.

Vanish Moraa, Alice Ambasar and Joyline Jepchirchir, all graduates from Moi University loved to travel on their past-time during their days at the university. And it was through these trips that a business idea was hatched.

The trio noticed a gap in the North Rift region since most local and international tourists and decided to curve a niche in the growing sector. In 2018, they decided to turn this hobby into a thriving business in the tourism sector by coming up with company, Mohrale Tours and Travel Company.

“We realised that most of the travel agencies focus on flight booking. There is no reliable single firm that offers travel needs for the road trips and safaris for two to three days or even a week and that is why we decided to come up with our firm,” says Ms Jepchirchir, Human Resource graduate.

They started Sh100,000 as a seed capital to acquire an office and other expenses. Initially, they started to partner with other private car owners to enable them to transport the clients to various tourist destinations.

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“The problem is that sometimes they might promise you to show up at some days and end up not showing up. That is why we decided to get a van,” explained Ms Moraa, a (BSc) degree in Information Science graduate.

And to circumvent this challenge, early in 2019, they acquired an eight-seater tour van to ease pressure on over-reliance on private car owners and shore up their business.

The tour firm offers travel packages for tourists who would wish to travel to various tourist destinations like the coast, northern and southern Kenya including areas like Turkana, Maasai Mara game reserve in Narok and Mombasa counties. Jepchirchir explains that most of their clients include local and international tourists; most of them go on vacation as a family.

“Most of those who travel to various tourist destinations are families while on the other hand the young people prefer road trips and safaris,” explained Jepchirchir.

She noted that it is more affordable and less cumbersome to travel as a group than travelling as an individual. For instance, it cuts on transport costs to move from one point to another.

“The rates are much lowerd compared to if one decides to go alone because it allows one to pool together monies for travel. We also usually liaise with the local hotels at the various tourist destinations who offer better rates to our clients,” she says.

Ms Moraa observes that months of April and August are usually the peak seasons for those headed to Maasai Mara due to the wild-beast migration while between months of September to December is high season and January to April is low season.

From returns from this business, they are able to sustain their livelihoods.

However, she explains that lack of finances to expand their enterprises as well lack of travel culture in the region, includes some of the challenges that they have to contend.

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