In our last section, we listed the top three travel and tourism destinations in Africa and presented a succinct review of investment perspectives in the sector. In this section, we are going to further elucidate the sector’s investment opportunities, while delving on a few more preferred travel destinations in the continent. The growth factors contributing to Africa’s tourism is also briefed.
As Africa is a fascinating place for adventure, sightseeing, beaches and well known for its rich biodiversity, it receives a huge number of visitors every year. As per statistics, the continent received over 65 million travellers alone in 2018. Out of which Morocco had received the highest number of visitors — approximately 11 million, while South Africa was in the second position with 10 million annual visitors. Tunisia had received around 6 million visitors. Besides, since Ethiopia has eased off its restrictions on travel visa and improved its infrastructure, its travel industry is now growing at a faster pace. As in 2018, Ethiopia’s travel industry grew by 48.6% (around USD 7.4 billion). The tourism sector alone contributed 24.3 million jobs, i.e. approximately 7% of the total employment in the continent.
The good news also is that by 2050, the middle-class population in Africa is predicted to grow by 44%. Hence, in terms of business investment, this turns out to be the most opportune time as expectations for good fortune increases for the future.
In terms of convenience and ease of service accessibility, whether in terms of travel booking or any other services, Kenya tops the list with 83% mobile internet market penetration, while Liberia and Tanzania are second and third with 81% and 72% respectively.
Coming to Indian tourists visiting Africa, sizeable numbers are travelling to Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. In October 2019 alone, estimates show that approximately 80,000 Indians visited South Africa for leisure. The country has thus set a target of hosting more than 100000 visitors from India in the current year. Kenya, in 2019, had received approximately 122000 visitors from India.
So what are the main factors for the growth of tourism in these regions?
- Political stability
- Affordable and good accommodation
- Availability of continental food combined with exciting local cuisines as an option
- Minimal visa and travel restrictions
- Ease of air connectivity
- Infrastructure access
- Access to internet connectivity and online systems
- Availability of local tour guides who are well versed in foreign languages
- Initiatives being taken by the local governments to market their country as top tourism destinations
- Safety and trustworthiness regarding the location and people
With improvement in the above factors, the tourism industry in Africa will continue to grow and will also contribute to the expansion of their market share in the world GDP.
For the investors, based on the current trends and market statistics coupled with the stabilizing political factors, the future investments can be planned out looking at combinations of local tourism, infrastructural investments, exploring with the local cuisines, adventure sports, and other hospitality-related services and businesses.