Ebola, terror attacks and xenophobia batter Africa’s tourism industry
VENTURES AFRICA – The dreaded Ebola, terror attacks and xenophobia have knocked the socks off Africa’s tourism industry, which is very important for the emerging continent, it has emerged.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), safari companies, coastal resorts and city hotels, are recording steep deteriorations in business as startled travellers call off bookings or don’t make them at all.
The latest shortfalls are being driven by months of continuing negative news from the continent that are forcing some operators to be on the verge of flopping. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, last year tourism contributed 11 percent to Kenya’s GDP and over 9 percent to South Africa’s. Because the slipping oil and mineral prices have pulled down prospects for Africa’s major export revenue earners, the slackening in tourism numbers could unleash a deadly blow to economic growth in these countries.
Important causes of the sag in tourism numbers are attributable to concerns about Ebola and terrorism, which have forced travellers to terminate holiday bookings in African countries not directly affected by either, according to WSJ.
Even though the Ebola pandemic has mainly subsided, holiday bookings have not surged.