WTA news: Nigeria is rising star of African tourism

WTA news: Nigeria is rising star of African tourism

Nigeria’s massive film industry, dubbed Nollywood, is one of brightest stars in Africa’s tourism industry, according to the WTM Global Trends Report 2012.

Based in Lagos, Nollywood is the world’s second largest film industry in volume terms, after India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood in the US, with more than 2,000 films produced annually.

Nollywood films are popular in many African countries and the report says their “huge popularity” attracts domestic and regional African tourists to Nigeria, visiting film locations.

The WTM Global Trends Report 2012 – in association with Euromonitor International – said: “Intra-regional travel is crucial for the African tourism industry, due to strong business, linguistic and cultural links between many countries.”

Arrivals to Nigeria are set to rise 3% annually, over 2012-2016, mainly thanks to intra-regional tourism fuelled by growing African economies.

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“The popularity of Nollywood will be a major growth driver with the leisure sector attracting film fans, and business travel boosted by the growing economic importance of the film industry,” added the report.

Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market, Fiona Jeffery, said: “There is very positive news coming out of Africa. The continent’s economic growth outpaced the global rate in 2011-2012, which has boosted disposable incomes.

“It means Africa is poised for continued strong growth in arrivals, incoming tourist receipts, air and hotel value sales in 2013.”

Figures in the report predict GDP growth in Africa will be 5.2% in 2012 and the same in 2013, while trips/arrivals will rise 4.5% in 2012 and 4.6% in 2013.

Caroline Bremner, Euromonitor International Head of Travel and Tourism Research, said: “Thanks to increasing tourism flows, 2012 saw a boom in hotel openings in Nigeria, including Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy, all in Lagos.

“There are more hotels under construction or in the pipeline from groups such as Hilton, Accor, IHG and Protea.”

Boutique operator the Mantis Group has launched Mantis West Africa with the introduction and development of Nigeria’s first luxury Boutique Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria.

Answering a need for exclusive boutique accommodation in some of Nigeria’s bustling city hubs, the Mantis Group together with locally owned property Group Grand Tower Designs commences development on the first luxury Boutique Hotel situated in the Capital City, Ajuba. Affording the influx of high end business travellers the opportunity to stay in beautifully appointed, service oriented accommodations.

The Mantis Group and Grand Towers plan to develop over two dozen luxurious boutique properties, starting with Abuja then moving onto Lagos and other frequently visited locations within the country. The first hotel is due to open this year.

“We are delighted to be able to expand into this new part of our beloved continent and we are looking forward to answering a growing demand for exclusive boutique accommodation in this market” Says CEO of the Mantis Group Adrian Gardiner.

As each hotel is completed, the Mantis Group will go onto Market and manage these properties, making use of their sales, marketing and PR offices in the key source markets of the world, such as the UK, USA and Europe.

The Economy of Nigeria since 1960 is mainly petroleum based. Oil exports account for 65% of Government revenues but 70% of Nigeria’s labour force is employed in Agriculture. Agriculture is the second biggest industry after Oil and it accounts for 27% of GDP. Recent growth areas also include banking and telecommunications, all of which have contributed to an expanding need for hospitality establishments that service both local and international high end investors.