The African tourism industry is in full expansion, a constant trend that started decades ago. Our firm, Amusement Logic, with projects from water parks and theme parks, to animal parks, swimming pools and waterslides, children’s areas, theming and design, actively contributes to this development and have a presence in Africa with projects built in places like Reunion Island, Kenya, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco, and with others in development for Ghana, Senegal, Namibia or Ivory Coast.
The figures place the African continent, in absolute terms, in second place regarding the the growth of the tourism industry, behind the Asia-Pacific area, but in front of Europe, Middle east and the Americas. The number of international visitors to the African Continent quadrupled during the last 30 years, from the 17,4 million visitors in 1990, to the 67 million in 2018. The tourism and travel sector provided direct and indirect employment to 24,3 million Africans in 2018, almost as many as the Australian population, which represents approximately 6,7% of the who the total employment of the continent. The tourism industry is currently responsible of 8,5 of the African GDP, and its total income is estimated at 177.750 billion euros. Of these billions, 71% corresponds to tourists’ leisure spending, while the remaining 29% comes from expenses of the business visitors.
On the other hand, the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index shows that the top ten African countries in 2019 are Mauritania and South Africa, almost tied for first place, followed by Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Botswana and, lastly, Tanzania.
The positive policies regarding restrictions on the movement of people, increased investments in the sector, as well as the increase of the middle class (the group of those who earn between 2 and 20 dollars a day), which the African Development Bank figures at 34% from 126 million in 1980 to 350 million in 2010, the last year for which data are available, are the main factors in the success of this second world position in tourism growth.
For example, Ethiopia has become of the fastest growing African country in the travel sector (48,6% in 2018, worth just over 6.7 billion euros), thanks to the lifting of restrictions to obtain a visa and to improving flight connections. Thus, Addis Ababa, its capital, has become the gateway to the continent, replacing Dubai in that position.
As a tourist destination, according to Sthembiso Dlamini, acting general director of South African Tourism, Africa brings to the world “its wonderfully diverse cultures, its innovative and optimistic people, its charming and varied landscapes, as well as its exceptional history.” She also adds that «most of the leaders of the governments of the continent have made a commitment to make travel between African countries easier and more affordable» Finally, she ensures that «in all our conversations and strategic meetings with the competent travel authorities, we emphasize one thing: collaboration, rather than competition, benefits everyone on the continent.»
Africa can always count on Amusement Logic as a faithfull collaborator, so that it can reach more successes like the ones of today.