Is Tourism in Africa set to boom?
it’s a good time for tourism in Africa. According to the most recent available data from the World Tourism Organization the continent saw international arrivals grow by 8.6% in 2017, the biggest increase globally. This amounted to 62.7m visitors and $37.3bn in receipts.
While encouraging the numbers are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Africa accounts for just 5% and 2.7% of global arrivals and receipts respectively, with the sector constrained by a myriad of issues ranging from poor infrastructure and regulation to a lack of connectivity.
This may be about to change.
Kenya has just reported record international arrivals of more than 2m in 2018, registering a 31.2% and 37% increase in earnings and arrivals respectively.
The spike reflects subtle but important trends in the industry.
One of these is improved air connectivity, a major bottleneck. While still fragmented Africa’s airspace is being better served as international and regional carriers beef up their networks. Countries are also taking steps to ease visa restrictions.
This is helping the continent tap into growing international demand, especially from China, with global hotel chains scrambling to expand across the continent.
If Kenya’s numbers are anything to go by the sector could be about to boom.