Could Africa be the next travel destination?
Tag: Africa, Africa travel
Summary: Tourism is one of the fastestacr-growing sectors in the world, and it is also a powerful economic stimulant. A stimulant such as this has the potential to reduce poverty through the creation of jobs…
Tourism is one of the fastestacr-growing sectors in the world, and it is also a powerful economic stimulant. A stimulant such as this has the potential to reduce poverty through the creation of jobs, the opening of small business, and urban and rural development.
Unemployment is endemic across much of the continent where the term “Generation U” refers specifically to the population ages 15 to 24 who make up nearly 60% of the continent's unemployed, according to the African Economic Outlook.
This high unemployment rate could have a crippling impact on the optimistic economic forecasts that were discussed in the previous blog post.
We are not accustomed to reading the words “Africa” and “travel destination” in the same sentence. Yet the United Nations World Tourism Organization projects the number of tourists visiting Africa will grow by 4% to 6% in 2012, a rate surpassing Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.
Tourism is just one of the tools that can help with the reduction of unemployment, but in order for it to flourish, countries must brand and position themselves in the right way.
Beyond traditional safaris, sub-Sahara Africa especially is not seen as a region for vacations that involve beaches, carnivals, historical sites, and outdoor activities. Yet all of these exist in abundance.
Enter stage right the public relations industry (we entered stage left on Monday). We have the solutions that build awareness, create identities, develop stories, and evoke inspiration.
African tourism organizations both governmental and private should adopt high-level western PR strategies and leverage qualified and trained practitioners who both know the continent and have the expertise to speak to the international audiences.
They should raise awareness that sub-Sahara Africa is open, safe, and ready for travel.