Africa Records 18 Mil­lion In­ter­na­tional Ar­rivals

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL - For more in­for­ma­tion visit­romon­i­

This growth can be at­trib­uted to in­creas­ing in­ter­ac­tion be­tween var­i­ous travel in­dus­try play­ers and dig­i­tal in­te­gra­tion, us­ing plat­forms such as so­cial me­dia, meta-search en­gines and the pen­e­tra­tion of on­line travel agents. Other driv­ers in­clude a grow­ing short-term rental mar­ket, lux­ury travel, niche tourism, Meet­ings In­cen­tives Con­fer­ences Ex­hi­bi­tions (MICE) and an in­creas­ing fo­cus on do­mes­tic tourism.

Eu­romon­i­tor pre­dicts that growth in in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals to SubSa­ha­ran Africa will reach 25, 000 mil­lion trips by 2022. Ar­rivals to Africa are ex­pected to see con­tin­ued growth, driven by in­creased in­ter­est from over­seas vis­i­tors due to com­pet­i­tive rates in com­par­i­son to other des­ti­na­tions with a sim­i­lar of­fer. Ag­gres­sive brand mar­ket­ing cam­paigns and the in­tro­duc­tion of new and in­creased di­rect air con­nec­tiv­ity to and from ma­jor over­seas mar­kets, is also ex­pected to boost in­bound ar­rivals to the re­gion. Key economies such as South Africa and Nige­ria can ex­pect strong growth in in­bound trips.

Key trends in Africa tourism in­clude;

Do­mes­tic Tourism: The num­ber of do­mes­tic trips in Africa in­creased by 8% to reach over 40 mil­lion in 2017, although many cit­i­zens do not have a trav­el­ling cul­ture as it is gen­er­ally per­ceived to be non-es­sen­tial or not af­ford­able. For­eign vis­i­tors are per­ceived to have more spend­ing power than lo­cals and there­fore travel is not af­ford­able in the eyes of lo­cals.

Multi-Chan­nel Mar­ket­ing: Air­line on­line sales lead over­all on­line travel sales, ac­count­ing for 67% of to­tal value sales. Dig­i­tal mi­gra­tion is trans­form­ing the tourism land­scape in terms of book­ings, cus­tomer ser­vice and con­sumer be­hav­iour. Ho­tels, air­lines and car rental com­pa­nies are mak­ing use of a va­ri­ety of plat­forms to en­gage con­sumers and in­crease traf­fic to their sites by us­ing so­cial me­dia, af­fil­i­ate pro­grammes, and Meta search en­gines, etc.

Short-term Rental Boom: Short-term rentals are es­ti­mated to have recorded a 12% in­crease in on­line value for 2017. Ho­tels are see­ing a steady per­for­mance glob­ally with an­nual growth rates of just over 3% pre­dicted to con­tinue un­til 2020.

Shar­ing Econ­omy Gain­ing Trac­tion: The en­try of peer-to-peer brands such as Uber and Airbnb is chang­ing the com­pet­i­tive land­scape of cat­e­gories such as car rental and lodging. South Africa is the largest mar­ket in Africa for brands such as Airbnb with many South Africans

join­ing as hosts and list­ing their out­lets. This trend is ex­pected to in­ten­sify com­pe­ti­tion as many trav­ellers are in­creas­ingly seek­ing cheaper op­tions.

Grow­ing Air­line Com­pe­ti­tion: Air­lines led travel sales, gen­er­at­ing sales of over US$7 bil­lion in 2017. In an ef­fort to re­main com­pet­i­tive, many sched­uled flights in South Africa are in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity on pop­u­lar routes such as Cape Town and Jo­han­nes­burg due to grow­ing de­mand. This trend has re­sulted in in­ten­si­fied price com­pe­ti­tion for lo­cal flights. As a con­se­quence of these fac­tors, com­pe­ti­tion be­tween low cost and sta­te­owned air­lines con­tin­ued to in­ten­sify dur­ing the re­view pe­riod.

Lux­ury Ho­tel Ex­pan­sion And De­vel­op­ment: Ho­tels led value sales, ac­count­ing for 45% of over­all lodging value sales. West Africa has rep­re­sented more than half of the to­tal, and is still the largest sin­gle re­gion to­day, South­ern Africa has in­creased in im­por­tance. The largest city on the con­ti­nent, La­gos in Nige­ria con­tin­ues to lead the top 10 by num­ber of planned rooms, with over 4,000. Abuja, the cap­i­tal of Nige­ria, has the sec­ond high­est num­ber of planned rooms in the African pipe­line, and to­gether with La­gos ac­counts for 32 % of the rooms in the top 10.

Lux­ury Travel: The travel mar­ket con­tin­ues to in­tro­duce prod­ucts that suit lux­ury trav­ellers' spe­cific re­quire­ments and needs by of­fer­ing char­tered air­line ser­vices, pri­vate yachts, lux­ury spas, sa­fari camps and lodges, whose fa­cil­i­ties are the equal of world-class cities. Lux­ury shop­ping is an­other ma­jor driver for many wealthy tourists to visit coun­tries such as South Africa. South Africa is also one of the lead­ing des­ti­na­tions for shop­ping in Africa due to its well-de­vel­oped re­tail land­scape. Lux­ury brands such as Louis Vuit­ton, Prada and Burberry have a pres­ence in South Africa with stand-alone stores.

MICE: The MICE sec­tor is boosted by in­creas­ing num­ber of busi­ness trav­els; a to­tal num­ber of over 30,000 mil­lion busi­ness trips were taken in 2017. Con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing built across the re­gion in ma­jor cities such as Nairobi, and Abuja, La­gos, Cape Town and Jo­han­nes­burg.

Niche Tourism: Coun­tries such as South Africa are a ma­jor med­i­cal tourist mar­ket, ow­ing to the state-of-art med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties that coun­try of­fers; many in­ter­na­tional tourists are flock­ing to the coun­try for pro­ce­dures such as cos­metic surgery. Tailored pack­ages for solo trav­ellers are also pre­dicted to be­come dy­namic niche prod­ucts.

Ac­cord­ing to Eu­romon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional’s new data, in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals to Africa grew by 6.5 per­cent in 2017, to reach 18,550 mil­lion, up from 16,351 mil­lion in 2012. Key mar­kets such as South Africa, Kenya, Nige­ria, Mozam­bique, Cameroon, Mau­ri­tius...

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