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Africa’s T&T could boost continent’s economy by US$168bn over the next decade: WTTC, VFS Global Report

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with VFS Global released a report ‘Unlocking Opportunities for Travel & Tourism Growth in Africa,’ at the ongoing Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The report highlights the significant potential for the African travel and tourism sector. Here are key points from the report:

The report was jointly launched by Arnold Donald, Chair, WTTC; Julia Simpson, President & CEO, WTTC and Hariprasad Viswanathan, Head, Sub Saharan Africa, VFS Global.

Economic Potential: The African Travel & Tourism sector has the potential to add US$168 billion to the continent’s economy and create over 18 million new jobs. To achieve this, annualized growth of 6.5% is required, reaching a contribution of more than US$350 billion.

Policy Package: The report proposes a policy package focusing on three key areas: improving air infrastructure, simplifying visa facilitation processes, and enhancing tourism marketing.

Past Growth: In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed more than US$186 billion to Africa’s economy and welcomed 84 million international travelers. It played a significant role in employment, providing livelihoods to 25 million people, which is 5.6% of all jobs in the region.

Transformation: The African Travel & Tourism sector has witnessed remarkable growth over the past two decades, more than doubling in value and contributing significantly to the continent’s economy.

Key Factors for Growth: The report emphasizes the importance of simplified visa processes, better air connectivity within the continent, and effective marketing campaigns to showcase Africa’s diverse and breathtaking destinations.

Challenges and Recovery: The report acknowledges the challenges faced by the sector, including the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, disease outbreaks, and political instability. Despite these challenges, the sector is on a path to recovery, with 2023 projected to be a year of near-full recovery, just 1.9% below 2019 levels, and the creation of approximately 1.8 million new jobs.

Opportunities for Growth: The report identifies several opportunities for sustainable growth, including strategic investments, improved connectivity, streamlined visa processes, the adoption of low-carbon energy sources to reduce the carbon footprint, and enhancing water efficiency. These initiatives can unlock the potential for economic development and job creation in the African Travel & Tourism sector.

The report highlights the immense potential of the African Travel & Tourism sector and underscores the importance of supportive policies and investments to realize this potential and contribute to the continent’s economic development.

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