Estimates have divulged prospects of growth in the continent’s tourism. International tourist arrivals to Africa are expected to grow by between 2 and 5% in 2016, UNWTO said in its 2015 annual report.

This marks a positive change from the 3% decline in tourist arrivals to Africa last year.

The volatile and unstable political and economic environment, marked by sporadic events on the continent has had a bearing on this reduction. Events such as the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia to name but a few have had a certain degree of influence on tourist arrival. On the other end, the percentage of the world wide arrivals increased.

The prospect of growth is timely, taking into account the continent’s share of the global tourist arrivals. The long term outlook represented by an average annual growth rate of 5% would forecast the continent’s international tourist arrivals at 134 million tourists by 2030.

The report highlighted certain issues being pivotal in ensuring that growth is sustained. At the fore is the battle against poaching. To this end, “The UNWTO has also announced its partnership with Africa in the fight against poaching as it seeks to boost the contribution of the continent’s abundant wildlife to tourism earnings.”

It is imperative that the continent not only safeguards its unique wildlife, but also ensures the implementation of strategic initiatives to realise the tourism sector’s full potential.

 

VF24 Editor G