Travel & Tourism Could Add $168B to Africa’s Economy in a Decade

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


At its Global Summit in Kigali, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced in collaboration with VFS Global that the African Travel & Tourism sector has the potential to add US$168 billion to the continent’s economy and create over 18 million new jobs.

The study “Unlocking Opportunities for Travel & Tourism Growth in Africa” claims that in order to realize this potential growth, three crucial policies must be implemented in order to achieve an annualized growth rate of 6.5% and a contribution of more than US$ 350 billion.

The report includes a set of policies aimed at boosting tourism, facilitating visas, and enhancing air infrastructure in order to improve Africa’s growth.

Travel & Tourism is a significant sector in Africa, contributing more than US$186 billion to the region’s economy in 2019 and welcoming 84 million international travellers. It also plays a vital role in employment, providing livelihoods to 25 million people, which accounts for 5.6% of all jobs in the region.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO at the global tourism body’s Global Summit in Kigali expressed that Africa’s Travel & Tourism sector has experienced remarkable growth, doubling in value over the past two decades. This expansion has made a significant impact on the continent’s economy. She adds, “Growth potential for Travel & Tourism in Africa is massive. It has already more than doubled since 2000, and with the right policies could unlock an additional US$168 billion in the next decade. Africa needs simplified visa processes.”

Zubin Karkaria, Founder & CEO, VFS Global, “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.”

Opportunities for Africa The report identifies opportunities for the African Travel & Tourism sector, including strategic investments, enhanced connectivity, streamlined visa processes, adoption of low-carbon energy, and improved water efficiency. These measures have the potential to unlock sustainable growth, job creation, and economic development in the region.

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