African tourists driv­ing tourism on the con­ti­nent

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Development -

Four out of 10 in­ter­na­tional tourists in Africa come from the con­ti­nent it­self, ac­cord­ing to the new “UNCTAD Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment in Africa Re­port 2017: Tourism for Trans­for­ma­tive and In­clu­sive Growth.” In sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, this num­ber in­creases to two out of ev­ery three tourists. Data back­ing this key find­ing show that, con­trary to per­cep­tion, Africans them­selves are in­creas­ingly driv­ing tourism de­mand in Africa.

Tourism sup­ports more than 21 mil­lion jobs, or 1 in 14 jobs, on the con­ti­nent. Over the last two decades, Africa has recorded ro­bust growth, with in­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals and tourism rev­enues grow­ing at 6% and 9%, re­spec­tively, each year be­tween 1995 and 2014, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

By col­lect­ing and com­par­ing data from two dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods, 1995–1998 and 2011–2014, the re­port re­veals that in­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals to Africa in­creased from 24 mil­lion to 56 mil­lion. Tourism ex­port rev­enues more than tripled, in­creas­ing from $14 bil­lion to circa $47 bil­lion. Tourism now con­trib­utes about 8.5% to the con­ti­nent's GDP.

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