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Africa shines on travel and tourism industry

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Africa’s travel and tourism industry, one of the most important economic activities across the continent, continues to record an impressive growth over the years.

The Jumia Travel Hospitality Report Africa 2018 cites that the continent in 2017 hit a 63 million high in international tourist arrivals compared to 58 million in 2016, recording a nine percent increase.

According to the report, the growth recorded was slightly above the global performance of seven percent in 2017 with Africa’s share of international tourist arrivals at five percent. Europe recorded 51 percent share, Asia and Pacific 24 percent, America 16 percent, and the Middle East four percent respectively.

Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe had strong performances in the industry while Tunisia and Morocco were driven by continued recovery. African island destinations Seychelles, Cabo Verde and Reunion reported double-digit growth in arrivals.

While the industry’s direct contribution to the GDP stood at 3.3 percent, but a total of 8.1 percent to Africa’s GDP (USD177.6 billion) was presented in 2017 with the percentage expected to rise to 12 percent in 2018.

The travel’s and tourism sector is one of the major employers in the continent supporting over 22 million jobs in 2017, approximately 6.5 percent of total labor. The jobs, direct and indirect is also expected to rise to 23 million occupations in 2018.


“The African economy has been gaining momentum with real output growth estimated to have increased by 3.8 percent in 2017 and expected to reach 4.1 percent by 2018/2019,” read part of the report.

Africa has been reported to demonstrate its true potential in global economic growth despite the start from a low economic base and political instability across the continent.


The introduction and rise of international hotel brands is the key factor in the growth of the hospitality industry. With over 100 brands in pipeline activity of 76,322 rooms in 418 hotels published in 2018, 298 hotels were found in Sub Saharan Africa while North Africa recorded 120 hotels.

Africa’s air passenger traffic share, however,  is performing dismally at only 2.2 percent of the world total and is expected to grow over the next 20 years.

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Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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