Africa’s tourism sector to reach $168 billion in 10 years report

Africa’s tourism and travel sector would pump about $168 million into the continent’s economy in the next 10 years, a new report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with VFS Global has said.

According to the report, the $168 billion into the continent’s economy would generate over 18 million jobs. The report titled “Unlocking Opportunities for Travel and Tourism Growth in Africa” highlighted policies that could drive an annualized growth of 6.5%, culminating in a contribution surpassing $350 billion.

WTTC President and CEO, Julia Simpson, emphasized the significant transformation in Africa’s travel and tourism sector, noting its doubled growth since 2000.

With the right policies, “the sector could unlock an additional $168 billion in the coming decade.”

More insight

In 2019, Africa’s travel and tourism sector made a significant economic contribution, surpassing $186 billion and attracting 84 million international visitors.

This played a pivotal role in employment, sustaining 25 million jobs, comprising 5.6% of total regional employment.

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global, expressed a firm commitment to supporting the development of travel and tourism in Africa, acknowledging the continent’s substantial potential.

The report extensively explores the sector’s history, navigating through challenges such as the 2008 global financial crisis, disease outbreaks, and political instability. Despite these hurdles, the sector is currently on a path to recovery.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) foresees 2023 as a year of nearly complete recovery, with levels approaching 2019 by 1.9%, resulting in nearly 1.8 million new jobs.

Also, there are various opportunities within Africa’s Travel and Tourism sector, including strategic investments, enhanced connectivity, streamlined visa processes, the adoption of low-carbon energy, and improved water efficiency measures.

The sector can promote sustainable growth, job creation, and economic development by capitalizing on these opportunities.

Generally, despite challenges, global tourism is rebounding robustly. Tourism Economics, a subsidiary of Oxford Economics, predicts that by the end of 2023, global outbound trips will surpass 1.25 billion, exceeding 85% of the peak level achieved in 2019.

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