For the third year running, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has published the Africa Tourism Monitor, an annual report on the tourism industry in Africa. This year’s report, a joint publication by the AfDB, New York University’s Africa House and the Africa Travel Association (ATA), is entitled “Unlocking Africa’s Tourism Potential”.
The report offers a comprehensive overview of the tourism sector in Africa, focusing on both opportunities and challenges. It features facts, figures and contributions from key tourism players across the continent, with tour operators, experts and industry representatives shedding light on key issues via a series of case studies.
Strong growth reflected in figures
One of the key findings of the report, as indicated in its introduction, is that the tourism sector in Africa is growing. In 2014, a total of 65.3 million international tourists visited the continent – around 200,000 more than in 2013. Back in 1990, Africa welcomed just 17.4 million visitors from abroad. The sector has therefore quadrupled in size in less than 15 years.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa’s strong performance in 2014 (up 4%) makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia (up 6%).