Africa Rakes in Over $165bn from Tourism in One Year – Report

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According to the Jumia Travel Hospitality Report Africa 2017, tourism contributed $165.6 billion, the equivalent of 7.8 per cent to Africa’s GDP in 2016.

The report highlights major tourism, travel and hospitality trends on the continent revealing its achievements so far, challenges and the factors determining its landscape.

One out of three Africans is part of the middle class which is a vital contributor to the growth of local and regional tourism. And with this population expected to double by 2050, the industry’s performance can only soar.

However the market is unevenly distributed with leaders such as Morocco, Egypt and South Africa getting the lion’s share of international arrivals. Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Ghana, Sudan and Seychelles registered the strongest growth in international arrivals.

In 2016, spending on domestic travel generated 63.7 per cent of the continent’s tourism GDP as compared to foreign visitor spending which contributed 36.3 per cent.

Jumia Travel CEO Paul Midy advices stakeholders to invest in domestic tourism to bolster revenue from travel trade.

Intra-bound travel, Africans travelling within Africa, dominated Jumia Travel at 90 cent while international arrivals amounted to 10 per cent of bookings.

Carmen Nibigira, Regional Coordinator, East Africa Tourism Platform urges stakeholders to invest in developing marketing concepts that appeal to the local market.

Smart phone bookings completed through Jumia Travel stand at 68 per cent and mobile use in the search phase at 51 per cent, a testament to mobile adaptation and internet penetration in Africa which calls for hotels to adapt their services to the demands of the tech-savvy customers.

The uptake of mobile payments is notably not growing at the same rate. Security, ease and accountability are still a concern as the pay-at-the-hotel is the most preferred payment model at 72 per cent; card payments 15 per cent; bank transfers by corporate programs 7 per cent; and mobile payments contributing 6 per cent.

The continent’s fast growth in hotel development, attributed to the growth of the middle class, is also contributing to the industry‘s growth in Africa. Africa recorded six per cent growth in tourism, doubling that of the global growth at three per cent.

Souleyman Khol, Head of Marketing and Revenue Management (Africa and Indian Ocean) of Accor Hotels notes, “This is good news for us, as this emerging group forms a formidable base for intra-travel across the continent.”

Nigeria has the highest number of hotel chains at 61 and Lagos is the leading city by number of planned rooms with 4, 000.

Brands including Marriott International, Best Western and Hilton continue their robust expansion across the African continent.

The industry’s contribution is expected to rise to 7.9 per cent of the GDP to $170.5 billion this year and to grow 4.6 per cent annually to reach $268.2 billion by 2027.

The Hospitality Report Africa was prepared in collaboration with French multinational hotel group, Accor Hotels and Ethiopian Airlines.

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