African tourists driving tourism on the continent
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.