Report identifies terrorism as bane of Africa’s tourism growth
Predicts 8 Per Cent Growth In Arrivals
West Africa’s tourism industry is fledgling, and only last year began to recover from the Ebola outbreak, but has great potential. According to Justin Francis, Managing Director of Responsible Travel, which runs a number of tours of the region, “While East Africa is known for its wildlife, the appeal in West Africa lies in its culture,” he said. “It’s colourful, deeply rooted in tradition and superstition, vibrant and completely different to the rest of the continent. Many of these countries have not yet been swept up by capitalism, globalisation and westernization,” he noted.
The 2017 Jumia Travel hospitality report on the African continent has identified terrorism as the biggest bane of the continent’s travel and tourism sector, and countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt are the biggest victims.
Globalization has given terrorist networks a platform to organise, plan and orchestrate cross border or international terrorist at tacks. While tourism generates loads of money in addition to promoting international cohesion, it‘s not immune from terrorism and terror attacks.
The impact of terrorism on the travel and tourism industry can be enormous, as it could lead to unemployment, homelessness, deflation, depression and many other social and economic ills. Yet, the contribution of tourism for many countries is so great that any downturn in the industry is a cause of major concern for many governments. The repercussions are felt in many other industries associated with tourism such as airlines, hotels, restaurants and shops that cater to the tourists and allied services.
According to the report, which was presented to the media and major stakeholders in the travel industry recently in Lagos by the managing director of the company, Kushal Dutta, the terrorist attacks in these countries have impacted negatively on their tourism revenue.
Meanwhile, the report has predicted that the continent will attract 64 million international arrivals before the end of 2017, as compared to 58 million in 2016 – an 8% growth year-on-year. Still, it is not clear how the affected countries will benefit from these figures if the terrorist attacks are not curtailed.
On the other hand, Internet and mobile penetrations have improved significantly in the continent. In 2016, Internet penetration stood at 27% with more than 300 million users while mobile penetration stood at 50% with 557 million users, and smartphone users accounted for 28% of the users.
Despite the continent’s low contribution to world’s air traffic at 3%, International Air Transport Association (IATA), has predicted a 4.8% increase in number of passengers in the next 5 years starting in 2017. The feasibility of this is made firm due to the increase in international flights to the continent.
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