Africa Outlook

Trending Travel

This year, Africa looks set to capitalise on a range of global trends ranging from transforma­tional travel experience­s to bleisure tourism

- Writer: Dani Redd

Analysing Africa’s tourism prospects, from wellness to bleisure travel

Tourism is a growing sector in many African countries.

According to the Latitude Hotels Group’s 2019 CSR Report, in 2018 tourism was the highest foreign exchange earner in Uganda, representi­ng 18.5 percent of the total export. Meanwhile, in Zambia it was the fastest growing economic sector – according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, internatio­nal visitor spend represente­d seven percent of the country’s export total.

“Tourism in Africa enjoys continuous growth, partly made possible by prevailing peace conditions in many countries, air accessibil­ity and diversity of attraction­s supporting investment­s,” commented Judy Kepher-Gona, Executive Director of Sustainabl­e Travel & Tourism Agenda. For example, 2020 will see several new direct flight routes opening up between Africa and the

US, such as Rwanda Air’s direct flight from New York to Kigali.

However, Kepher-Gona stresses the importance of taking community wellbeing and sustainabl­e developmen­t into account when expanding tourism provision. It will also be important for Africa to harness global tourism trends to keep on pulling in the crowds.

One such global trend is ‘transforma­tional travel’ – a desire for meaningful connection­s with people, wildlife and the environmen­t while travelling. According to Sherwin Banda, President of African Travel Inc., Africa is well-placed to deliver such experience­s. “African Travel focuses on making sure every trip has a positive impact, whether it’s engaging with wildlife through an elephant rehabilita­tion programme, tracking gorillas responsibl­y in Rwanda or Uganda, or trailblazi­ng new experience­s for travellers to engage with people and wildlife,” he said.

Africa is also well-placed to capitalise on a recent global interest in walking holidays, which are an environmen­tally friendly way of discoverin­g a country. According to tourism insiders, more active safari experience­s will be trending in 2020.

“Tourists are moving away from being sedentary, only sitting in a game vehicle, watching, seeing. They also want an immersive and interactiv­e programme where they can meet local communitie­s and learn about their culture,” said Murray Gardiner, CEO at Giltedge Africa.

Walking safaris in Kenya and Uganda will be increasing­ly popular in 2020, as will visiting more off-the-beaten track locations on active excursions, such as horseback riding.

 ??  ?? 14
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya