Africa tourism ‘lifted by Obama and World Cup’

Africa was the only continent to see an increase in tourists in 2009

The “Obama effect” of a US president with African heritage and the 2010 World Cup are boosting tourism in Africa, industry experts say.

“There has been a shift in the way people look at Africa,” says the head of the UN World Tourism Organisation.

“Africa is now considered a very serious destination for travellers from the major generating markets,” Taleb Rifai told a conference in Madrid.

Last week UNWTO said Africa had “bucked the global trend” in tourism in 2009.

It was the only continent to see a rise in the number of international tourist arrivals last year – with travellers increasing by 5%.

That compared to fall of 4% worldwide, attributed to the economic crisis and the swine flu pandemic.

However Mr Rifai said Africa’s share of the tourist market was still only 5% – or around 50 million tourists from a total of nearly 900 million.

Kenya’s tourist board says that the fact that President Obama’s father was from Kenya has led to an increase in Americans visiting the country.

Meanwhile the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) says this year’s World Cup, which takes place in South Africa, will have an “enormous effect”.

“The World Cup is certainly the most exciting thing to happen to Africa, not just southern Africa, all Africans are very proud that it’s going to be there,” the ATTA’s head, Nigel Vere Nicoll, told the AFP news agency.



One Response

  1. Spent Your Time With Warm Hearted Nation…..” — Our motto
    Travelcelan is a Sri Lanka based travel company, having its network and offices all over the country. We are a young, energetic and enthusiastic team of professionals, headed by a group of experienced individuals with a combined field experience of over two years. We are one of the leading players of the industry, known for our impeccable services and well preserved moral values. Our well researched and carefully designed tour itineraries have drawn us a veritable list of clients from all over the world giving us a pace to compete with eminent global players.

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