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Tourism Is Booming in Africa


Travel to Africa is on the rise. New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) found that the continent is far outpacing other regions when it comes to tourism growth.

While the global average of growth is 3.9 percent, travel to Africa is growing at 5.6 percent in 2018. This places Africa as the second-fastest growing tourism region behind only Asia-Pacific.

The rebound is partly the result of a rebound in travel to North Africa after it stabilized after security crises, the WTTC reports. The WTTC also credits the “implementation of policies that promote travel facilitation.”

Tourism growth abounds around the continent but Ethiopia is by far outpacing other countries. It is not only Africa’s fastest-growing travel economy but the world’s. Tourism in the country grew 48.6 last year and is worth $7.4 billion. The WTTC also found that travel and tourism spending made up 61 percent of the country’s exports.

Much of the growth in Ethiopia can be attributed to the development of the country as a regional transport hub and a relaxed visa policy.

Major safety and security improvements have also promoted growth in Egypt. Tourism grew 16.5 percent last year, and international visitor spending accounted for 27.3 percent of exports. Key destinations such as Sharm El-Sheikh have helped bring visitors back to the country’s northern coast.

“In 2018, the World Travel & Tourism Council hosted its first ever Africa Leaders Forum in Stellenbosch, South Africa, recognizing the increasing significance and power of this great region’s travel economy,” said WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara.

“We commend the tourism leaders in Africa who are helping to boost connectivity, promote travel facilitation and ensure traveler safety–all of these measures make for supreme growth; the kind of growth that we are now witnessing across the continent and that provides millions of good jobs,” added Guevara.


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