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Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs

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A resort in Cape Maclear, Malawi. The travel and tourism sector has been identified as on of the main sectors to drive the economy of Malawi over the next decade. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs

At its Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda recently, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with VFS Global, revealed that the African travel and tourism sector could add USD168-billion to the continent’s economy and create over 18 million new jobs.

According to the report, ‘Unlocking Opportunities for Travel & Tourism Growth in Africa’, this potential growth is dependent on three key policies to unlock annualised growth of 6.5%, reaching a contribution of more than USD350-billion.

The report includes a policy package focused on improving Africa’s growth based on air infrastructure, visa facilitation and tourism marketing.

Travel and tourism is a powerhouse sector in Africa, with a contribution of more than USS186-billion to the region’s economy in 2019, welcoming 84 million international travellers.

The sector is also essential for employment, providing livelihoods to 25 million people, equating to 5.6% of all the jobs in the region.

The travel and tourism transformation (Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs)

Speaking at the global tourism body’s Global Summit in Kigali recently, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said that Africa’s travel and tourism sector has witnessed an extraordinary transformation.

“In just two decades, it has more than doubled in value, significantly contributing to the continent’s economy.

“Growth potential for travel and tourism in Africa is massive. It has already more than doubled since 2000, and with the right policies could unlock an additional USD168-billion in the next decade.

“Africa needs simplified visa processes, better air connectivity within the continent, and marketing campaigns to highlight the wealth of destinations in this breathtaking continent,” said Simpson.

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Diverse prospects for economic growth (Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs)

Zubin Karkaria, Founder & CEO of VFS Global said: “We are excited to partner with WTTC to uncover the extensive opportunities that travel and tourism offers in Africa.

“Having established our presence in Africa since 2005 we are today the trusted partner of 38 governments who we serve across 55 cities in 35 countries in Africa. VFS Global recognises the tremendous potential of Africa and remains deeply committed to supporting the continuing development of travel and tourism to and from the continent.

“This report not only highlights the diverse prospects for economic growth, sustainable tourism, and cross-cultural collaboration but also provides valuable insights for governments to formulate policies and offers businesses a well-defined roadmap for expansion in this thriving market,” said Karkaria.

This report delves into the historical journey of the travel and tourism sector in Africa. It’s a story of facing challenges head-on, from the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 to the setbacks caused by disease outbreaks, and political instability.

Despite all of these challenges, the travel and tourism sector is on a path to recovery.

According to the global body, 2023 is projected to be a year of near-full recovery, only 1.9% shy of 2019 levels, as well as the creation of an additional near 1.8 million jobs.

The report highlights the opportunities for the sector, which include strategic investments improved connectivity, streamlined visa processes, reducing carbon footprint through low-carbon energy adoption, and enhancing water efficiency.

These could unlock the potential for sustainable growth, job creation, and economic development in the African travel and tourism sector.

To access the full report, please visit WTTC Research Hub

Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs

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Travel and tourism in Africa could create 18 million new jobs

 

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