East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 key to Africa’s growth
EATHE 2019 is an important opportunity for stakeholders in the sector to meet and discuss opportunities and common challenges at a policy level and it all kicked off at the EATHE 2019 Floor opening, which took place on 22nd of March in the auditorium of the Four Point by Sheraton
The opening was addressed by the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Dr. Hamisi Andrea Kigwangalla, Mr. Deogratius Kilawe chairman of EATHE 2019 and Leona Lemomo, the CEO of Msafiri Tours. Present were delegates from airline companies, hotels, travel companies, the Open University of Tanzania, National Tourism College, ZATI and others.
Leona Lemomo the CEO of MSafiri travels who has been in the industry for over ten years added that “the major challenge facing the industry that needs to be solved will boost the growth of the industry in the country is to open the Southern circuit to increase accessibility to local and international tourists‘.
According to the 2018 BMI report on Tourism in Tanzania, the industry is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, contributing 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), 30 percent of service exports, and 235 million jobs. Indeed, each year, approximately 1 billion people travel internationally. By 2030, consumer spending on tourism, hospitality, and recreation in Africa is projected to reach about $261.77 billion, $137.87 billion more than in 2015. From 1998 to 2015, service exports, including of “industries without smokestacks” such as tourism, have grown about six times faster than merchandise exports in Africa. Africa’s travel and tourism industry continues to record impressive growth over the years. In 2017, the continent hit a 63 million high in international tourist arrivals as compared to 58 M in 2016 (+ 9% vs 2016).
Africa’s share of international tourist arrivals is 5%. Europe’s share is 51%, Asia and the Pacific 24%, Americas 16% and the Middle East 4% respectively.
Results were driven by the continued recovery in Tunisia and Morocco and strong performance in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Island destinations Seychelles, Cape Verde and Reunion recorded double-digit growth in arrivals.
The African economy has been gaining momentum, with the real output growth estimated to have increased by 3.8% in 2017 and expected to reach 4.1% by 2018/2019.
Travel and tourism contributed a total of 8.1% to Africa’s GDP (USD 177.6 bn) in 2017. This percentage is expected to rise by 3.7% (to reach 12%) in 2018. Moreover, the direct contribution to the GDP stood at 3.3% in 2017.
The industry is also a major employer in the continent, supporting over 22 million jobs in 2017, approximately 6.5% of total employment. These include jobs directly & indirectly supported by the industry, and are expected to rise by 3.1% in 2018 to 23 million jobs.
Rise of international hotel brands is a key factor in the growth of the hospitality industry. Pipeline activity of 76,322 rooms in 418 hotels (with over 100 brands across Africa) have been reported in 2018. Of these, 47,679 rooms in 298 hotels are in Sub Saharan Africa, while North Africa recorded 28,643 rooms in 120 hotels.
In 2016, around 670 hotels and establishments were present in Tanzania, and we forecast robust growth in hotel numbers in the medium-to-long term, with the number of hotels and establishments expected to reach 830 in 2021
Total overnight stays are expected to increase by 6.9% in 2017, reaching 14.0mn, with steady growth expected through to 2021. The average length of stay will remain stable, at around 9.6 nights, throughout the forecast period. We expect 2019 to have more than 2 Million tourists.
“Tanzania and Africa is vibrant melting pot for tourism: the diverse cultures, customs and traditions of our people, merged with the endless variety of our landscapes, blended with our unique biodiversity, tempered by our historical legacy, and fired by the spirit of freedom and equality, ” said the Minister.
However, he noted that if we are to be successful, everyone needs to pay more attention to the image and reputation of East Africa. “Not only through effective marketing, but by putting on a really great show when tourists arrive like Urithi Festival which is very important to give experience to tourists. Their word of mouth will do marketing for us and using social media begins the minute they arrive on our shores.”
The Minister adds that the East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 provides the ideal platform for African countries to work together. “A successful EATHE 2019 contributes to the success of tourism in all countries.”
East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 is expected to have 2,300 meetings from 22nd -24th November 2019, 400 exhibitors, 700 buyers and 144 media.