Somali Magazine – A new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) VFS Global has unveiled groundbreaking data at its Global Summit in Kigali, showcasing the immense potential of the African Travel and tourism sector. The data reveals that the African continent could reap US $ 168 billion from travel and tourism and create over 18 million new jobs.
The report themed, ‘Unlocking Opportunities for Travel & Tourism Growth in Africa’, the growth of the tourism sector depends on three key policies to unlock annualized growth of 6.5%, reaching a contribution of more than US $ 350 billion.
The report includes a policy package focused on improving Africa’s growth based on air infrastructure, visa facilitation, and tourism marketing.
Travel and tourism is a powerhouse sector in Africa, welcoming 84 million international travelers and contributing more than US $ 186 billion to the region’s economy in 2019.
The sector is also essential for employment, providing livelihoods to 25 million people, equating to 5.6% of all the jobs in the region.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, while addressing the global tourism Summit in Kigali “Africa’s Travel & Tourism sector has witnessed an extraordinary transformation. In just two decades, it has more than doubled in value, significantly contributing to the continent’s economy.”
Simpson pointed out “Growth potential for Travel & Tourism in Africa is massive. It has already more than doubled since 2000, and with the right policies could unlock an additional US$168 billion in the next decade.“Africa needs simplified visa processes, better air connectivity within the continent, and marketing campaigns to highlight the wealth of destinations in this breathtaking continent.”
According to Zubin Karkaria, Founder & CEO, VFS Global, “Having established our presence in Africa since 2005 we are today the trusted partner of 38 governments who we serve across 55 cities in 35 countries in Africa. VFS Global recognizes the tremendous potential of Africa and remains deeply committed to supporting the continuing development of travel and tourism to and from the continent.”
The report not only highlights the diverse prospects for economic growth, sustainable tourism, and cross-cultural collaboration but also provides valuable insights for governments to formulate policies and offers businesses a well-defined roadmap for expansion in this thriving market.
It also delves into the historical journey of the Travel and Tourism sector in Africa. It’s a story of facing challenges head-on, from the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 to the setbacks caused by disease outbreaks, and political instability.
Despite all of these challenges, the Travel & Tourism sector is on a path to recovery.
According to the global body, 2023 is projected to be a year of near-full recovery, only 1.9% shy of 2019 levels, as well as the creation of an additional 1.8 million jobs.
Africa Tourism opportunities
The report highlights the opportunities for the sector, which include strategic investments improved connectivity, streamlined visa processes, reduced carbon footprint through low-carbon energy adoption, and enhanced water efficiency.
These could unlock the potential for sustainable growth, job creation, and economic development in the African Travel & Tourism sector.