Africa is set to develop the world’s fastest growing tourism market over the next ten years, alongside Asia-Pacific, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
This will be the key message of WTTC president David Scowsill when he delivers his keynote speech to aviation and travel industry leaders at the World Route Development Forum taking place at the Durban International Conference Centre.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Durban ICC, South Africa, on September 19th-22nd.
According to Scowsill, the growth of Africa’s tourism industry is on course to reach 4.9 per cent for the sector’s direct contribution to GDP over the next decade, equalling the growth of the Asia-Pacific region.
This unprecedented growth rate underscores the strength of the region’s potential compared to the estimated forecast increase in other regions of the world over the next decade – notably the Middle East 4.6 per cent; the Americas 3.8 per cent, Europe 2.8 per cent and the overall worldwide growth 3.9 per cent.
Scowsill added: “The world has mostly been focused on Asia-Pacific as the fastest growing region, but our latest figures demonstrate the potential in Africa’s tourism industry, which is ripe for investment.
“However, the region’s current forecast of 4.5 per cent growth in Travel & Tourism capital investment per year over the next ten years is still well below the growth for investment in the Asia-Pacific region, forecast at 5.7 per cent, and the world overall.
“Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies.
“Tremendous opportunities exist to further expand tourism across the African continent, yet growth doesn’t happen by itself and challenges remain.
“To fully realise the expanded potential, African nations must collectively focus on four key areas: first, expanded investment in tourism infrastructure; second, improved connectivity and air liberalisation - a move towards a fairer open skies policy; third, common visas across multiple countries: and fourth, investment in human capital to build the capacity and skill set of the workforce.
“The economic potential of tourism in Africa is remarkable but for this to materialise it is critical that individual nations strengthen their unique branding positions to help fulfil the forecasted growth.”
The Strategy Summit will bring together senior leaders and key stakeholders from aviation, airports and tourism to participate in discussions affecting aviation and travel today, such as route development, infrastructure, airport growth, security, visa restrictions, regulatory challenges and how new airline service can change a city’s or a country’s fortunes.