Tourism on the African continent is an industry full of opportunities where, with the right ingredients, it can only grow.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), between January and April 2016 there was 7% year-on-year increase in international tourism in Africa. What is also interesting about this data is that a large portion of the increased traffic is to Sub-Saharan Africa and even more specifically, to the SADC countries.
The world is a different place to what it was just 20 years ago. This is largely due to the growth of technology and its greater availability to a larger market. However, acts of terrorism in many first world countries have also played a part in the increasing numbers of international visitors to “untouched” areas on the continent and tourism hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some SADC tourism authorities believe that a UNIVISA, a visa that allows people to travel more easily from one country to another, especially to allow for access to multiple tourist attractions, would encourage the growth of tourism to an even greater extent. Francis Ngwenya, President of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) believes the common visa approach is a positive step towards growing tourism on the continent. Zimbabwe and Zambia have tried the UNIVISA with some success and Ngwenya believes it would be beneficial to the African economy through support of free-flow tourism.
Jerry Mabhena, CEO of the South African Thebe Tourism Group, identifies another growth factor in the tourism industry: the continent’s growing black middle class as an economic bloc. Mabhena believes that investing in the correct marketing strategy for the emergent economic power bloc is a winning strategy for the tourism industry.
Finding a way to merge all the advantages presently at play is key to taking advantage of and ensuring the continued growth of African tourism.
ABOUT ADAMS ON AFRICA | ISSUE 1
This article is part of a new quarterly digital publication, Adams on Africa. The publication aims to provide you with the necessary information and updates on developments in business and the law in Africa. We welcome your feedback. Articles in this issue: