Magazine article African Business

Britain, US Could Lead Visitor Charge

Magazine article African Business

Britain, US Could Lead Visitor Charge

Article excerpt

A change in travel trends in 2009 could spearhead an economic turnaround for many African countries. Tourism is one of Africa's largest foreign exchange earners and it will no doubt attract more travellers from Britain now the pound has edged closer to Euro parity. British tourists alone spent $4.5bn holidaying in developing countries in the year 2000, about the same sum as their government gave in aid that year. Over the years, the number of tourists flowing into Africa has been impressive, particularly in South Africa's case, which had a 2.8% increase in visitors in 2008.

While holidays to exotic locations do not come cheap, demand for locations where exchange rates are more favourable is set to rise in 2009. Parts of Africa that are relatively stable could see a rise in the numbers of foreign visitors.


While the violence that followed the presidential elections in Kenya affected the country's $1bn a year tourism industry, there is optimism that confidence will be restored and the industry in Kenya will have recovered by the end of 2009.

The 'Obama factor' may attract tourists, particularly from the us, to explore the heritage of the new president. This is a niche that has been seized upon by some tour operators in the US who offer tours that cover the Maasai Mara and then the village of Kogelo where Barack Obama's father was raised.

Because most holidaymakers seek a unique experience, there has been a move away from the safari type of tourism in recent years to a more interactive type of tourism. …

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