ICA at experts meeting on aviation tourism in Africa
4 May 2016
The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) took part in a two-day meeting of experts in Addis Ababa in March which focussed on how to foster growth in tourism in Africa through the aviation sector.
Hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), experts agreed that the aviation and tourism sectors in Africa needed to maximise cooperative opportunities in order to take advantage of the predicted growth in global travel for tourism.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicts that global travel for tourism will increase annually by over 3%, reaching 1.8 billion by 2030. However, Africa’s share of international tourist arrivals is currently about 5% of the global total.
Travel and tourism experts believe the performance of Africa’s aviation industry, which accounts for only 3% of global air transportation, and a lack of coordination between the tourism and aviation sectors across the continent, contributes to Africa’s low share of international tourist arrivals.
As tourism has the potential to make a significant contribution to the continent’s economic development, the two-day experts’ meeting looked into a new report, commissioned by the ECA and currently under development. The report is likely to identify a number of factors, including regulatory environments, poor air connectivity, restrictive visa regimes and taxes as holding back the growth of the two industries.
The report comes after the ICA published a major study in December 2014 titled Opening Up Aviation Services in Africa, which looks at how African stakeholders could address the next steps in promoting efficient African aviation services, and how best to overcome barriers to the expansion of effective aviation services across the continent.
Together with the African Development Bank, the ICA will discuss with the ECA how best to disseminate both the new report and the ICA’s study, and will work with the ECA on the implementation of the outcomes of the two documents.