For decades, tourism has remained a major contributor to the GDP of African economies. In 2019, the industry accounted for about seven percent of Africa’s GDP and contributed $169 billion to its economy—about the size of Côte d’Ivoire’s and Kenya’s combined GDP. But the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic changed all that. In July 2020, the African Union estimated that Africa lost nearly $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues and two million jobs in only the first three months of the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that real GDP among African countries dependent on tourism shrunk by 12 percent in 2020. However, as Covid-19 restrictions ease, tapping domestic tourism demand has offered the sector some respite, as a growing middle class and young population show more interest in domestic tourism. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) says that much of the world has had the advantage of relying on captive domestic and regional audiences. But in Africa, domestic tourism has been overlooked for a long time. The sector needs to be oriented towards more diversified markets so that there is greater resilience in future. According to the World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC), domestic tourism accounted for 55 per cent of travel and tourism spending in Africa in 2019, below the contribution of local tourism in North America (83 per cent), Europe (64 per cent) and Asia-Pacific (74 per cent). Domestic tourism accounted for 73 per cent of the total global tourism spending in 2017. Africa’s growing middle class and…
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Source: Nomad Africa Magazine