Tanzania contributed 19.3 per cent of the total international air arrivals on the continent as compared to Kenya’s 18.2 per cent, Egypt’s 17.2 per cent and South Africa’s 12.1 per cent for the period September 2016 to January 2017.
This is according to a new report by flight monitoring company ForwardKeys which compares flight reservation data from over 16 million transactions per day to position African destinations on the global tourism map.
Ethiopia registered a notable drop of 4.0 per cent owing to a decrease in intra-Africa international arrivals. The country also saw a drop in tourists from Europe and Middle East compared to the same period last year.
Regionally, arrivals in the East African Community (EAC) countries were up by 16.4 per cent though the report cites the inadequate provision of long-haul connectivity as a challenge in the region. Kigali was the only regional capital city to record double-digit growth in international capacity for both long-haul and intra-Africa routes.
As a whole, Africa recorded a 10.3 per cent increase in international arrivals.
Estelle Verdier, the Managing Director of hotel booking site Jumia Travel which also recently introduced flight booking services said the ForwardKeys report reflects the continent’s potential for increased growth in air traffic which is proportionate to growth in tourism.
Visa waiver by Morocco; reviewed restrictions by South Africa; and direct flights to Kenya were some of the factors that contributed to Asia Pacific’s 21.7 per cent growth in international arrivals.
ForwardKeys reveals a 17.3 per cent growth in forward international bookings across the continent for the first half of 2017 with the Easter period poised to record a 53.1 per cent increase in total arrivals followed by June with a 26.4 per cent increase.