Tourism Expert says, opportunities for Africa are huge

Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019

With the travel sector contributing under 10 per cent to GDP and employing more than 300 million workers worldwide, the opportunities for Africa are huge.


This is the view of Lavonne Wittman, the President of Skal International, who visited Nigeria last week as the first ever President of Association of Travel Professional, an organization of tourism leaders around the world, endorsing global tourism and friendship.


Wittman, who was in the country to launch the Port-Harcourt branch of the group as well, entrusted the stakeholders in tourism in Nigeria and other African countries to jointly work within and beyond the continent, mourning that the continent failed to keep pace with global travel development.


The industry in Africa still lags behind. Despite the nice weather year-round and good tourism sites, only Morocco welcomes as much as 11 million tourists every year.


By 2030, in Africa, consumer spending on tourism, hospitality, and recreation is expected to reach about $261.77 billion, $137.87 billion more than in 2015.


From 1998 to 2015, service exports, including that of “industries without smokestacks” like tourism, have grown about six times faster than merchandise exports in Africa.


Keeping in mind these trends, in Africa, the travel and tourism industry have major potential, notably because of the richness of the continent in natural resources and its potential to further develop cultural heritage, music and others.


To quote Lavonne Wittman, “We are working on that. We need to get more powerful. We have got to have more attractive membership benefit. We have got to see that our SKAL is running correctly and ultimately and holistically attractive. What we are also trying to say is to value business. We have network organization or South Africa business network and they measure businesses. We come together and say you have given me a $100, 000 businesses and then measure it. It is very difficult to measure at this stage. It is a powerful organization.”


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