1.2 Billion in 2016; estimated to grow to 2.5B in 2050. The average age is 19.5 years
With 4.5 %, Africa is the world’s second fastest growing economy after East Asia.
1.1 B people in the middle class by 2050 (40%)
Tourism accounted for 7.8% of African GDP (US $ 165 billion) in 2016
1 out of 20 people indirectly work in the tourism sector
58 Millions arrivals in 2016 and this number is expected to grow to 110M by 2027
In 2016, the internet penetration rate was 27% with more than 300 million users.
50% in 2016 with 557 million users. Smartphones represent 28% with a forecast of 68% in 2020.
What is the current situation of the African Sites listed by UNESCO?
Africa, the cradle of mankind, has incredible riches both culturally and naturally. 131 African sites are listed on the World Heritage List, of which 85 are cultural sites, 40 natural and 6 are Mixed. 53 of the 54 States of the African continent have ratified the 1972 Convention. Of these, 40 have successfully proposed the inclusion of their national sites in the World Heritage. However, the African continent remains under-represented on the World Heritage List (12%). The heritage list facing threats currently has 23 African properties, that is 42% of the total. Indeed, these sites face many challenges, such as armed conflicts, terrorism, poaching, and illicit trafficking, global warming and natural disasters, and uncontrolled urban expansion, unregulated tourism, and mineral and oil exploration.
The African World Heritage Fund, established in May 2006, provides financial and technical aid to African States for the safeguarding of their cultural and natural heritage. In order to promote African heritage, the General Conference of UNESCO proclaimed 5th of May as an African Heritage Day to raise awareness among local communities, especially young people, and to safeguard these valuable assets. Since the inception of the Fund and the establishment of the African Heritage Day, Africa has become conscious of sustainable development and the urgency of protecting the environment in the context of the 1972 Convention
How can the classification by Unesco contribute to the development of tourism in Africa?
African heritage is an opportunity for sustainable development and economic growth. Africa being one of UNESCO's priorities, this previous effort has been to put the power of culture into that of sustainable development and of peace in a context of regional integration. The inscription of sites on the World Heritage List remains an important asset for tourism and sustainable development. The World Heritage label is a valuable opportunity for the visibility of these sites which may experience a renewed curiosity and increased visitor attendance. The inscription on the World Heritage List is an additional opportunity for reinforcing international recognition which on raising awareness of the importance of protecting the sites. The nomination of a site results in an increased effort to develop the territory, to enhance and safeguard the property hence generating a stable and sustainable economic dynamic. In this International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, UNESCO is developing, with this in mind, a Program on World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism, based on the dialogue and cooperation between the various players in order to promote tourism that respects classified sites.
How can new technologies contribute to the protection of African sites classified by UNESCO?
The Ngorongoro Declaration calls upon "African State Parties to exploit the opportunities offered by the new and emerging technologies to ensure the conservation and sustainable development of the World Heritage properties".
New technologies can contribute to heritage conservation as through them, the collection, dissemination, and analysis of important data for the sites is feasible. Drones are equally an innovative tool for ecological monitoring and follow-up of sites. Today, visitors, through their smartphones, have become actors of this protection, by alerting managers directly and immediately in case of incidents or damage. Resources acquired by crowdfunding can be very useful in financing the protection of sites. Technologies are also a Channel to increase visitor awareness, in particular regarding the protection of sites and their outstanding universal value. They are also an opportunity to facilitate access to isolated sites (By electronic means). New technologies are also useful for developing sustainable tourism which is respectful of the sites. Various projects based on new technologies have been developed for the protection of heritage. For example, a flagship project meant to integrate young people into the protection of Heritage through new technologies is the #Unite4Heritage campaign. Launched in 2015 by UNESCO to respond to the violent propaganda of extremists and the destruction of many sites in Mali, Libya, and more recently in Syria, this campaign is being followed today by 15 million people around the world. Its strong presence on social networks is in an effort to involve young people in UNESCO's actions. Another example is the Youth Heritage Experts initiative, which was established by following the Forum of Young Experts at Bonn in 2015. This platform for online reflection is an example of success and a source of inspiration for the broadcasting of UNESCO's values and actions through the new communication and information technologies. These two tools are crucial for raising awareness about heritage protection. The technologies thus open up great opportunities for the development of tourism, its sustainable development and the protection of heritage sites.
What is your insight about the African aviation industry and what are the key advancements and challenges of the industry in the continent?
It’s a very exciting time for African aviation industry. However, Africa is still contributing little to the global aviation industry with only 3% as compared to all global traffic. Nevertheless, the growth is very encouraging. With more investments coming to the continent from China and India which is expected to drive the continent’s development; air traffic in Africa is also expected to grow. In Africa air transport is the most viable means of transport as others are very under developed. Among the many challenges facing the aviation sector is that for the longest time, the industry lacked the necessary attention it deserves from African heads of states as it has always been considered a luxurious means of transport. Others include high taxation levied at times equal to cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, low connectivity within the continent, and expensive jet fuel with a cost 30% higher in Africa than the rest of the world; as well as infrastructure problems and expensive services. These results in high operation costs which are then transferred to the customers, making air transport unaffordable by many thus creating a vicious circle of challenges. However, despite these challenges, progress of the industry has to do with good safety records that has improved over the last few years. Today, many African airlines including Ethiopian airlines, South African Airways, Egypt Air, Kenya Airways, Air Morocco, Tunisiair, and TAAG Angola meet the global standards of safety records. Connectivity has also increased especially between African countries and the rest of the world.
What needs to be done to make easier, accessible and affordable transportation system within Africa and beyond?
Government’s attention to the aviation industry and infrastructural developments are the key solutions to make easier, accessible, and affordable transportation system within and outside of the continent.
How do you see the future of the hospitality industry in the coming ten years, and how can Africa attract more travelers from the continent and from the rest of the world?
Out of the total global tourists, only 55 million tourists visit Africa annually which is much less than the rest of the world (more than a billion tourists annually). However, progress has been noted on the continent with more African destinations becoming popular globally. The hotel industry infrastructure development has also grown tremendously, with more chain hotels (365 pipelines in 2016) coming to Africa and bringing encouraging results on the continental hospitality industry. The current initiatives to develop infrastructure are popularizing African destinations, and in a short period of time the continent will see a booming hospitality industry attracting travelers from across the world.
36.3% of Foreign visitor spending
63.7% of Domestic spending
68.6% of Leisure spending
31.4% of Business spending
|Coming up||In Service|
|City||Average price per night||Demand|
|35 %||Same day|
|58 %||Less than 24 hours|
|67 %||Less than 48hours|
|85 %||Less than 7 days|
|92 %||Less than 2 weeks|
|97 %||Less than a month|
|3 %||More than a month|
Hospitality industry is a key contributor to Africa’s economy and infrastructure development. A growing middle class coupled with relaxed travel restrictions within Africa’s economic regions are the main drivers of the surge in domestic tourism. Additionally, there is a tremendous growth in hotel chains investing in the major business destinations such as Lagos, Nairobi, Abidjan, Accra and Johannesburg not to mention an increase in flight traffic to these cities by the major airlines. This hospitality report by Jumia Travel dwells on the key opportunities that Africa’s hospitality industry holds despite the challenges the continent faces.
CIA WorldFact, Africa Progress Panel, ESA UN, Internet World Stats, W-Hospitality Group, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), African Development Bank (AFDB), McKinsey Global Institute, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL), GSMA Intelligence, ForwardKeys, KPMG, Worldometers, International Monetary Fund (IMF), AccorHotels, Jumia Travel