Tourism on the African continent is on a positive growth trajectory. Indeed, tourism numbers on the continent have grown at a rate of 8.6% over the past year as compared to a global average of 7%. When it comes to tourism, Africa is the fastest-growing market in the world.
Despite this, there remain significant challenges to grow the levels of Intra-African tourism, with many of Africa's tourists finding it easier and more attractive to travel to Europe or Asia.
Tourism acts a catalyst to wider economic growth and economic integration. Increased growth and collaboration between Africa's tourism destinations could act as a significant job creator across the continent. Where do Africa's leaders see opportunity in the future of Intra-African tourism?
Tanzania continued to cement its status as among the world’s best tourism destinations after scooping the Best International Wildlife Destination award at the Outlook Travellers Awards (OLTA) held in India.
The numbers show that investment in East African tourism remains an attractive proposition. Around 67 million tourists came to Africa in 2018, a record 7% increase from 63 million arrivals in 2017 and 58 million in 2016. There remains significant potential for growth in the Tanzanian market. While 1 million visitors came to Tanzania in 2018, South Africa and Morocco attracted over 11 million each.
The growth of Intra-African tourism also has Escarpment and the Tanzanian tourism industry preparing to receive growing numbers of visitors from within the continent.
"I am very optimistic about the prospects of Tanzania and Africa as a whole.
I see Tanzania being an ICT leader on the continent in about a decade. My confidence is inspired by the government’s commitment to improve infrastructure and boost connectivity.
Our government has also cut the business registration red tape so much that you can get it done in two days, as opposed to weeks. Investors also get supported information-wise by the Tanzania Investment Centre.
The corruption that used to plague public institutions is a thing of the past thanks to a new paperless system.
Connectivity will also be enhanced further since the government plans to subsidise any operation that will take the internet to the countryside. We will soon have 4G and 5G in the cities, and 2G and 3G in the rural areas."