Africa’s tourism sector in 2016 showed great recovery after two weak years, plagued by the Ebola pandemic and rampant terrorist attacks.
The continent welcomed 58 million tourists, a remarkable 8% growth compared to what was recorded in 2015, figure that is projected to hit 134 million by 2030.
Compared to the rest of the regions, the continent edged a step closer to Asia and the pacific who led the numbers in 2016 arrivals despite maintaining a matching growth trajectory at over 8%.
Destinations worldwide welcomed more than 1.2 billion people in 2016 while six billion people toured within their borders. This is according to the latest tourist barometer report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Africa as a whole has seen a rising interest in tourism business from different corners of the globe, owing to the fast economic growth across her nations and improved business environment.
The robust growth in international arrivals maintained a steady upward trajectory, to mark a 3.9% growth, which translates to some 46 million more overnight visitors as compared to the previous year 2015.
According to the statistics, 2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth after the 2009 global economic financial crisis that majorly affected the travel sector.
“Tourism has shown extraordinary strength and resilience in recent years, despite many challenges, particularly those related to safety and security,” said outgoing Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai in a statement. “Yet, international travel continues to grow strongly and contribute to job creation and the well-being of communities around the world.”