Tourism could boost Africa’s economy by $170bn over next decade
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has projected that Africa's travel and tourism sector has the potential to contribute $168 billion to the continent's economy and generate over 18 million new jobs within the next decade. Over the past two decades, the sector's value has more than doubled, a notable achievement, as highlighted by Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC during the summit.
This optimistic outlook is contingent on the implementation of three crucial policies that could stimulate an annualized growth rate of 6.5%, as outlined in a report released during the WTTC Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
The report emphasizes a three-pronged policy approach centered around air infrastructure, visa facilitation, and tourism marketing as the key drivers for boosting revenues in the sector. Travel and tourism are pivotal industries in Africa, not only contributing significantly to economic growth but also playing a vital role in employment, offering livelihoods to 25 million people, which constitutes 5.6% of all jobs in the region.
Points clés à retenir
The projection for consumer spending on tourism, hospitality, and recreation in Africa by 2030 is around $261.77 billion, which represents a substantial increase of $137.87 billion compared to the figures from 2015. Over the period spanning 1998 to 2015, service exports, which include sectors like tourism, experienced growth at a rate approximately six times faster than merchandise exports in Africa. These trends highlight the significant potential of the travel and tourism industry in Africa. This potential is fueled by the continent's abundant natural resources and the opportunity to further cultivate cultural heritage, such as music. However, it's important to note that, with the exception of a few countries like Mauritius and Seychelles, where tourism holds a particularly large share of the economy, the tourism sector in Africa is still in its early stages of development. Moreover, it remains closely intertwined with broader and long-standing development challenges, including infrastructure and security issues. Recognizing the potential of tourism, most countries in the region have already formulated strategic plans to harness this sector's economic and developmental opportunities.