Published on : Friday, September 21, 2018
Africa attracts just five percent of the tourists worldwide in spite of bragging attractions ranging from the Pyramids and Victoria Falls to wildlife safaris and never-ending strips of unspoiled beaches. However immense potential of the continent can be unraveled by eco-tourism, cultural experiences, domestic travel and political stability, stated experts at an African tourism conference organized by Airbnb in Cape Town last week.
“When you look at the success stories, it’s those countries who’ve embraced trends,” said the African Tourism Association’s (ATA) managing director Naledi Khabo who spoke at the summit. “When you look at some countries which have made sustainability a focal point, like Tanzania, or Rwanda, they’re very attractive for certain travellers.”
Eco-friendly safaris and carbon-neutral lodging attract increasing number of visitors from Europe and North America. The tourist numbers visiting Tanzania has doubled since 2006 to more than one million contributing 14% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to Tanzania Invest.
Khabo, who speaks for the African tourism sector, explained that other success stories like South Africa, which is endorsing the diversification of their products beyond the safari.
South Africa has seen a major boom of experience-based tours, taking travelers to deprived townships and rural communities along with wine farms and game lodges. Abigail Mbalo established the 4RoomEkasi concept to showcase food and lifestyles in South Africa’s black communities to visitors.