Tourism industry in Africa has played a key role in shaping the future of the African countries. In fact, it has contributed significantly towards its economic growth bringing in a deluge of foreign currencies and has built a platform for generating employment for its people.
More important has been the fact that tourism industry has introduced the dark continent to the outside world highlighting its enormous potential. Both the private sector and the government have a long-term responsibility in this area to revamp the African tourism industry that accounts for almost 7.8 % of the national GDP.
President and CEO of Corporate Council on Africa, Florizeller Liser has voiced during the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference held in Kigali, Rwanda that there is a fair amount untapped potential in Africa’s tourism industry.
Need to tap the inherent potential to sustain the growth track:
The second largest continent is blessed with incomparable beauty as far as nature’s bounty and the exotic landscape are concerned. Africa is wild and wonderful featuring a collection of flora and fauna, which are found nowhere else on earth.
This factor acts as a very powerful tourist lure, which the African nations need to recognize, and they must turn improve their economic condition. They have a huge market and only a fraction of it has been commercially utilized.
Africa’s tourism industry has been registering a quick-paced growth ranging from 34% to 44% throughout the past decade. For the coming decade, the future growth projection has been estimated at around 50 %.
However, the blemish on the face of the development initiatives for tourism industry persists in the form of civil strife and violence that need to be wiped out to bring any significant improvement in the tourism sector.
Online digital services making a significant contribution:
Online digital platforms since 1990 are changing the façade of global tourism fast and Africa is also striving to make the best use of it. This has been hugely beneficial for both the industry and the consumers.
So far, African expedition is concerned with only the sheer enormity of the size of the continent and its unfathomable depths of the wilderness, which have kept this continent obscure from the tourist’s eye since long. Online services have served well to remove this inaccessibility barrier making African wonders more transparent to common tourists.
The same tourists who, at one point of time, depended largely on safari movies and anecdotes from nature and wildlife explorers to form any judgment on how good or how bad a trip to Africa could be.
African tourism speeding ahead with online services:
A survey on Kenya’s hospitality trends revealed interesting information. 96% of the information searchers on Kenya trip have engaged the internet to get the latest updates. Out of this, 44% of the tourists have made their search less than a week before they boarded the flight. 25 % of the travelers have figured out and booked an accommodation on the same day.
If we take international statistics, the number of bookings made online is 148.3 million while the percentage of hotel bookings done through smartphone on the same day stands at 65%. This only substantiates the fact how incredibly fast you can materialize your travel plans covering all its aspects riding on the electronic media miracle.
A senior official of a renowned travel company, while expressing his opinion in the 3- day Kigali conference, said that the internet aiding online services to travelers have made travel an extremely comfortable, hassle free and smooth experience, especially for abroad travel.
Thus choosing an appropriate and consistent portal such as online payment options, the ministry of tourism backed by government support would do well to keep the travelers in comfort while booking a trip to Africa.
This would benefit travel agents, hotels, logistic service providers, and it will build a sustainable bridge between the travelers and the service providers. The customers will have a great travel experience and the suppliers would have a lot of business precipitating in an overall growth.
Tapping the online services to the fullest would position the continent strongly on the world tourism map. The 3 day Kigali conference has been directed successfully towards an objective congruence so far as the interests of the customers, online travel agents and hoteliers go.