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.
Connectivity between African markets remains one of the principal barriers to Intra-African trade and tourism growth. For decades now, African travellers have been frustrated by a lack of connectivity between markets that has often meant it is cheaper to fly via Europe to move from one African destination to another. The situation has changed when it comes to travel between Africa's economic hubs and capital cities. However, as Abderahmane Berthe, Secretary-General of the African Airlines Association, explains in this interview with AfricaLive "Real connectivity is about developing new routes to connect new markets." With the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market, the aviation industry has an opportunity to be a real driver of African economic growth. What role will Africa's airlines play in accelerating the rate of Intra-African trade and investment?
Tanzania is emerging as an African leader in the rapidly growing meetings, conferences and events industry. Tanzania's growth within the business tourism sector has been driven by growing international recognition of a tourism industry second to none in terms of diversity and quality of experiences. As younger business travellers and entrepreneurs increasingly look to combine business and leisure travel, Tanzania is moving to ensure the connectivity and infrastructure is in place to welcome growing numbers of African business travellers. Arusha International Conference Centre CEO Elishilia D. Kaaya revealed the ambitious plans in an interview with AfricaLive.net, stating "We are steadily preparing the country for the big time when it comes to business tourism.
"There is a lot of work being done to bring down emissions caused by air travel as tourists come into the country.
Most of our hotels have adopted international sustainability standards but we also have our own set of standards. We have the Seychelles sustainability label that we are working to put in place in every hotel.
These standards spell out the protocols to be followed when handling waste produced by hotels. They also give directions on handling wastewater, water, and energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy. There is also a ban on plastic bags, cutlery, plastic cups, and takeaway porcelain. We also have an ambitious target of protecting thirty percent of our marine space. We have protected twenty-six percent so far, and plan to complete the job by next year."