Travel habits changing in Africa

Looking at changing travel habits within Africa, the expansion of travel on the continent is facing some challenges but is also exhibiting some promising signs. This is according to Euromonitor. So what's changing?

According to Euromonitor, governments in Africa are uniformly investing less in the development of domestic travel and the current airline environment is highly regulated. However, a rising middle class and commercial appetite to expand into African travel could define a new era for travel on the continent.

Africa did not have a culture of leisure travel. In many African countries, travel was considered part of family responsibility or was undertaken for work. In addition, the perception amongst most African cultures was that travel for leisure was reserved for the wealthy only.

Euromonitor did point out that, however, in research conducted across emerging markets - Africa, India and Brazil - travel expenditure was not always equivalent to wealth with a high travel expenditure already being achieved by lower-income households.

Should competitive airline rates continue to open the playing field for travel on the continent, the hope would be that product offerings could meet the emerging market’s need with budget-friendly accommodation and in-destination activity.

Technology is also a willing partner to the explosion of African leisure travel growth. New players in African travel could expect e-commerce to enable trade. Platforms such as M’Pesa, Eco Cash and Computicket are poised to facilitate the economic activity that rapid expansion of consumer demand across much of the continent could bring. Partnerships between travel companies and retailers are another promising avenue for stimulating growth in African travel.

Says Cape Town Tourism CEO: “Affordable travel on the African continent not only adds up to a better overall travel story for individual destinations, but it’s also essential to growing a stronger tourism sector on the continent – economically and in terms of perception and global representation.”

Source: eTN