Tourism could be a real ‘win-win’ for Africa

Dear CCI Franco Congolese, Marriott International has announced a $250m expansion plan to increase its hotel numbers in Africa by 50% by 2023, joining a growing list of hotel chains eyeing the continent.

Last week Hyatt announced plans to open 9 new hotels by 2020. In July AccorHotels launched a $1bn partnership with Qatar’s Katara Hospitality to expand in sub-Saharan Africa.

Luring them is a burgeoning tourism sector.

According to the World Tourism Organization Africa saw the biggest annual rise in arrivals globally in 2017 at 8.6%. Total arrivals more than tripled from 18.7m to 62.7m between 1995 - 2017.

The likes of Marriott know this is the tip of the iceberg.

Africa’s tourist arrivals account for just 4.7% of the global total. The World Travel & Tourism Council expects international tourist spending of $48.7bn in 2017 to hit $78.5bn by 2028, fueled by rising demand from China.

Tourism is not just exciting for its commercial potential. The labour-intensive sector can help tackle core development issues like job creation. It already supports 22.7m jobs, accounting for 6.5% of total employment. This is expected to rise to 30.7m in 2028.

Properly harnessed it could be the definition of a “win-win” for Africa.


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