In 2019, tourism made up 6.9 percent of Africa’s gross domestic product or $169 billion, while contributing 24.7 million jobs, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. When international visitors vanished, the continent was faced with the reality of having a weaker regional travel market than most other parts of the world. Domestic travel made up just 55 percent of travel spending in 2019, versus 83 percent for North America, 74 percent in Asia Pacific and 64 percent in Europe. Over a year later, key destinations such as Egypt and Rwanda are welcoming tourists back, but the chief hurdle to international tourism recovery remains lagging vaccine distributions and new variants forming in the region as a result.
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