Africa Is Global Star Again: The Travel and Tourism Sector in Africa Is Thriving as Never before. Preliminary Statistics for 2006 Indicate That the Continent Has Yet Again Been the Star of the Global Industry, Outperforming All Other Regions. African Business Editor, Anver Versi Reports

By Versi, Anver | African Business, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Africa Is Global Star Again: The Travel and Tourism Sector in Africa Is Thriving as Never before. Preliminary Statistics for 2006 Indicate That the Continent Has Yet Again Been the Star of the Global Industry, Outperforming All Other Regions. African Business Editor, Anver Versi Reports


Versi, Anver, African Business


In 2006, Africa was once again the star of the global tourism industry, registering an 8.1% growth and outperforming all other regions. This is the second year in succession that Africa has come top of the pile. And 2007 is projected to be even better.

Africa's growth rate was a key contributor to the global industry's larger than expected 4.5% increase over 2005.

The reason why Africa's performance is causing such excitement within the world tourism industry is that the 2006 growth rate is not an isolated spike but forms part of a sustained period of growth. After the dramatic drop in international travel following 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, international travel and tourism, against all odds, began a steady climb, registering a phenomenal 10% growth in 2003/02. Even during the 'bad' season in 2003, when there were declines in practically all regions, Africa posted an impressive 5.2% growth, followed in 2004/03 with a bracing increase of 9.1% before settling down to 8.5% in 2005/04 and the current 8.1%.

According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), "the current trend of a gradually slowing growth rate is expected to continue in 2007. The increase in international tourist arrivals is projected to be around half a percentage point lower than in 2006, that is around 4% much in line with the forecast long-term annual growth rate of 4.1% through 2020". The projection is therefore that growth will slow down for all regions in 2007--bar Africa. This is the only region that is expected to show a growth of 9%.

Africa's performance is all the more impressive when you consider that globally, the continent competes on equal terms with other regional markets which have much longer established and developed tourism products. Africa has to compete with many other attractive and relatively cheaper regional destinations and as a long haul destination for the majority of its visitors, its attractiveness has to outweigh the higher costs of air travel for tourists.

UNWTO estimates the total number of global arrivals in 2006 at 842m visitors, a new record. This is 36m more visitors over 2005. Of the additional 36m, the largest expansion, 17m was for Europe. Industry experts attribute part of the global growth and a good deal of European growth to increasing competition among low-cost airlines, which have driven down short-haul prices to historic lows. The influence of budget airlines has had such a remarkable impact on traditional patterns of travel and tourism that at least two of the world's biggest package tour companies, MyTravel and Thomas Cook, have decided to merge in an effort to make economies of scale and cut costs by a general downsizing.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In this context and keeping in mind that the continent is a long-haul and relatively expensive destination, Africa's increase of 3m arrivals over the year is being regarded as outstanding.

This is excellent news not only for Africa but for the industry as a whole. Although tourism remains globally one of the most competitive sectors, the industry sees itself very much in competition with other sectors and also vulnerable to a host of outside influences. It is also conscious of the need to constantly renew itself, either by opening up newer and hitherto untrodden destinations or repackaging older destinations to appeal to changing fashions.

"In this context," the representative of one of the most extensive hotel chains in the world told me during the UNWTO Africa Tourism conference in Geneva last year, "Africa is the key. South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, Botswana and a few other destinations are fairly well developed--I say fairly well developed, not fully developed--but the rest of the continent is virgin territory. The potential for development is infinite."

The continuing robust health of the global tourist industry has come as a huge relief to an increasing number of African countries that have invested considerable money and creative time to the sector. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Africa Is Global Star Again: The Travel and Tourism Sector in Africa Is Thriving as Never before. Preliminary Statistics for 2006 Indicate That the Continent Has Yet Again Been the Star of the Global Industry, Outperforming All Other Regions. African Business Editor, Anver Versi Reports
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.