Report

Hospitality: Booming sector of tourism in Africa

By Sikha Thakur

The economy of a country highly depends on the hospitality industry throughout the world as per World Travel and Tourism Council. Tourism is presently one of world’s largest industries, generating US$6 trillion or 9 percent of global GDP, creating nearly 260 million jobs in hospitality sector.

In Travel and Tourism industry, hotel, motel and catering likewise boosts income generation, exposure, structural development and foreign exchange generation. Food and beverages, arts and craftsmen, club houses, restaurants, transport, tour and guide have indirect impact, hence augment the overall economy.

Africa hosts a huge diversity of culture, landscape, natural flora and fauna and language. In recent years, the country has recorded millions in foreign exchange earnings through tourism. Around 30 percent of workforce directly or indirectly depends upon tourism sector in Gambia.

The continuous growth of hospitality industry is the key factor for the rise of international hotel brands. In 418 hotels piping activities of 76,322 rooms have been reported in 2018. Out of these 28,643 rooms in 120 hotels are recorded in North Africa.

While in Saharan Africa 47,679 rooms in 298 hotels are recorded, double digit growth is recorded by Accor Hotels, which has firm footing in Africa in pipeline. It has recorded the growth of 66 percent in the number of rooms signed. In East Africa, Ethiopia leads with 31 hotels in 2018 and 20 hotels in 2017. Rapid growth in hospitality sector is experienced from new countries like Mauritania, which was sidelined previously.

North America is benefitted more than Sub-Saharan Africa as per report, which shows the increasing number of hotel chains and expansion of hotel rooms. The most populous country of the continent, Nigeria tops the list followed by Egypt and Morocco. Besides, these reports, the biggest hotel project, the Grand Hotel Oyala Kempinski in Sub-Saharan Africa in Equatorial Guinea are developed, which will feature 451 rooms after completion.

Hospitality industry is directly proportional to jobs and more tourists. Around 20 million people are directly or indirectly working for the tourism industry across the continent. The sector accounts for 7.1 percent of jobs in Africa. Around 8.1 per cent of Africa’s total GDP relies on international tourism sector as reported by UK’S World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

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