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Africa’s Opportunity to Boost Growth

The African tourism sector has made meaningful strides in recent years but is still barely scratching the surface of its potential. Boasting an enviable natural environment as well as rich and diverse cultures, Africa could be poised for a tourism boom as international travel becomes more accessible amid a steady rise in global income. In particular, China’s population of about 1.4 billion people is increasingly looking for new experiences in foreign lands – a massive opportunity for African states that position themselves correctly. Africa’s tour operators should consider gearing themselves up towards this segment of the market, particularly as the continent forges closer trade ties with the world’s second largest economy. A report by Nielsen and Alibaba’s Alipay shows that Chinese travellers consider the availability of mobile payment platforms when choosing a destination. Since these are ubiquitous in China, African merchants should consider adding these functionalities. Booking statistics show that Egypt, Mauritius, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia and Ethiopia are doing a good job of courting the Chinese traveller – they are among the continent’s most popular destinations for Chinese tourists.