Tourism

Travel and tourism will drive growth in the next decade

JAMES ANYANZWA

The travel and tourism sector in Africa is expected to create about 14 million new jobs in the next decade and fuel the continent’s economic recovery.

“Africa is clearly recovering and will see a significant recovery in the next couple of years. And in the next 10 years, almost 14 million jobs could be created in this sector,” says the latest forecast from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

“However, last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reintroduce severe and unreasonable travel restrictions to several key African destinations,” WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said in a statement.

Travel and tourism GDP growth is projected to be 6.8 percent per annum between 2022 and 2032, more than double the region’s overall economic growth rate of 3.3 percent to nearly $279 billion ( 7.2 percent of the entire economy).

By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to rise by 20.5 percent to $144 billion, accounting for 5.1 percent of total economic GDP. Employment in this sector is expected to grow by 3.1 percent this year to reach about 22 million jobs.

Recovery

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Africa’s travel and tourism GDP could approach pre-pandemic levels by next year, just nine percent below 2019 levels, according to the WTTC.

Prior to Covid-19, the sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8 percent ($182.4 billion), falling to just 3.8 percent ($96.5 billion) in 2020, when the pandemic was at its height—a 47 percent decline .1 percent.

The sector also supported more than 25 million jobs in the region, which, after falling 22.9 percent, fell to 19.6 million in 2020.

Africa’s travel and tourism contribution to GDP increased by 23.5 percent to more than $119 billion last year, signaling the start of a recovery for the sector, the report said.

The sector also recovered 1.6 million jobs, representing an increase of 8.2 percent and amounting to more than 21 million jobs.

The contribution to GDP decreased by 49.2 percent to $86 billion in 2020 from $169 billion in 2019, while the number of jobs created fell to 17.5 million from 24.7 million in the same period.

While domestic spending fell by 42.8 percent, international spending fell even more, by 66.8 percent.

In terms of job losses, Africa was disproportionately affected than other regions, with a 29.3 percent (7.2 million) job loss.

Prior to the pandemic, travel and tourism revenues played an important role in restoring and expanding natural parks and protecting wildlife in many African countries, as well as supporting the livelihoods of local communities through tourism projects.

In Rwanda, travel and tourism GDP grew by 25.3 percent in 2019 after the government prioritized sustainable tourism with a real and tangible impact in terms of both community development and community conservation.

In the field of preservation of valuable…

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