WTM Vision Conference – Cape Town puts Sub-Saharan Africa in the spotlight

WTM Vision Conference – Cape Town puts Sub-Saharan Africa in the spotlight

More than half of visitors to destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa come from Africa, delegates at WTM Vision Conference – Cape Town will hear today (Friday 2 May).

“Sub-Saharan Africa depends heavily on regional arrivals, with 52% of visitors being intra-regional, compared with 18% from Western Europe, and 4% from North America,” said Paz Casal, Travel and Tourism Research Analyst at Euromonitor International.

The vital role of domestic and regional tourism in Africa will be examined as part of the Travel Industry Forecast Review 2014.

The review will also show that Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for tourism, and arrivals to Sub-Saharan Africa reached more than 36m in 2013.

Additionally, Casal will discuss South Africa, and how domestic tourism is a “key pillar” of the country’s travel trade, increasing by 8.6% in 2013 to more than 37m trips.

The leading domestic tourism destinations in South Africa are Gauteng – the capital of which is Johannesburg – with more than 9.4m domestic visitors, and Kwazulu Natal, with 8.3m in 2013.

Factors such as South Africa’s expanding GDP and the growth of Nelson Mandela pilgrimage tourism bode well for the country’s travel and tourism industry, the conference will hear.

Looking at overseas markets, the fastest growing by far is China, which is predicted to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 22% for visitor arrivals between 2013 and 2018.

Casal will debate the challenges presented by inequalities within South Africa – with the average annual disposable income for whites above US$33,000, while for the black population, it is under US$6,000.

“A growing black middle class is emerging, with the most affluent dubbed the ‘Black Diamonds’,” she said.

“This group has been a major driver of consumption in South Africa over recent years.”

The hotel market in Sub-Saharan Africa is also on the WTM Vision agenda, as the continent is the new focus of international expansion by major global hospitality brands.

Nigeria is the most valuable hotel market in the region, and the supply of luxury hotels in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, said Casal.

Her presentation will also unveil the latest Euromonitor research about global travel and tourism trends.

This shows that global tourism remains vibrant, with record numbers in 2013, and emerging markets remain the focus for growth among many international hotel groups.

Furthermore, Casal will discuss trends such as social media, the sharing economy, luxury travel and technological developments such as holograms and Google Glass.

Charlotte Sutton, WTM Conference & Seminar Manager, who will introduce WTM Vision Conference – Cape Town, said: “The importance of tourism to both South Africa and the continent is highlighted in the findings of the research unveiled today. An annual growth rate of 22% until 2018 reinforces the decision to launch the inaugural WTM Africa, of which this WTM Vision Conference is part.”

WTM Vision – Cape Town is the third in the 2014 series of six WTM Vision conferences. Events in Moscow and Sao Paulo took place last month with WTM Vision – Dubai and Shanghai Taking place on 6 and 8 May respectively. WTM Vision – Rimini takes place on 9 October.

All conference delegates receive a copy of the exclusive Euromonitor International Report free of charge (worth £1,000).

– ENDS –

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