Africa Tourist Arrivals to Grow 5 Percent

Tourist arrivals in Africa will this year grow by between two and five percent after dropping three percent in 2015 to 53 million, said UNWTO. Africa's share of the global tourism cake is the smallest, affected by political and economic instability in many parts of the continent, for example the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Last year, Africa only accounted for five percent of global tourist arrivals which stood at over one billion, with Europe dominating at 51 percent followed by the Asia and Pacific region at 23 percent, the America's at 16 percent while the Middle East, at 54 million arrivals, was also tied with Africa at five percent.

"Based on the current trend and outlook, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals to grow by four percent worldwide in 2016," the UNWTO said in its 2015 report.

"The projections for Africa (+2 percent to +5 percent) and the Middle East (+2 percent to +5 percent) are positive, though with a larger degree of uncertainty and volatility."

While East Africa has been dubbed a "more open" region for tourists, Central Africa and North Africa have been listed among the "most restrictive regions."

The UNWTO has also announced its partnership with Africa in the fight against poaching as it seeks to boost the contribution of the continent's abundant wildlife to tourism earnings.

A number of initiatives are also being implemented to boost the continent's capacity and competencies of tourism sector professional.