African tourist demography shifting towards East

Published on : Wednesday, November 13, 2013

download-115Tourism demography in Africa is shifting from the dependency on traditional source markets of Europe and the US, with an increasing number of tourists coming from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and the Middle East.

This trend is evident according to a report released by global research firm, Euromonitor International, in light of the World Travel Market 2013 event held in London this month.
Furthermore, Euromonitor’s research stated that strong economic growth, especially in East Africa, is helping to grow business tourism throughout the region, while rising incomes and urbanisation are driving growth in domestic, inter-Africa travel.

The report also highlighted a trend towards family tourism in Africa, particularly catering for the needs of the BRIC tourists. “For each of the past three years, our family safari bookings have nearly doubled,” said Ben Morison, managing director of travel agency Imagine Africa. The trend shows a demand for African hotels and travel retailers to offer more multi-generational holiday options to this growing consumer segment looking to see Africa’s Big Five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo).

“As growing numbers of visitors from the BRIC countries head to Africa, child-friendly safaris will become more numerous as many of these visitors travel in large family groups,” stated the report.Chinese visitors have also become the fourth largest group of arrivals in South Africa, with over 132,000 visitors in 2012. This is expected to grow to more than 180,000 by 2017, according to Euromonitor’s research.

“Indian visitors are also embracing safaris, with many lodges offering Indian food and opening their kitchens to guests wishing to prepare their own food.”South Africa was ranked the third country in Africa (after Seychelles and Mauritius) in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013, which assesses 140 economies worldwide based on factors affecting the attractiveness of a country’s travel and tourism sector. In terms of natural resources, South Africa is ranked at 17th place in the world, and at 58th place in the category of cultural resources.

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