The world’s travel and tourism has changed significantly from 2013 to 2015 despite geographic location specific disturbances; notably from Middle East, Ukraine to South East Asia and fear of spread of global pandemics.
Sadly significant decrease in number of international arrivals for those countries, there was a significant increase for unaffected countries.
For a while, some other areas also saw an increase in the national visitors. The most interesting part is that travel to both rich and poor countries actually continued to grow over the past years.
Over the period, International arrivals reached a record 1.4 billion in 2014 with 51 million more than 2013 according to United Nations World Travel and Tours Council (WTTC) WTTC estimates that the sector now accounts for 9.5% of global GDP and a total value of $7 trillion, whiles it also account for 5.4% of world’s export.
The industry now play a vital role as a driver of growth and job creation growing at 4% in 2014 and providing 266 million jobs directly and indirectly. This means that the industry account for one in every 11 jobs on the planet and the number could rise to 1 in every 10 jobs by 2022 according to travel and tourism organisation on its travel and tourism competitiveness report 2014 involving 141 economies. The report was from leading and well established travel and tours companies, including ourselves.
The current trend is first, travel and tourism industry continue to grow more quickly than the global economy as a whole. The country’s performing more strongly on travel and tours are those that are better prepared to capture the opportunities of growing demand from emerging and developing countries, the differing preferences of travellers from ageing population and new generation of younger travellers coupled with the growing importance of online services and marketing especially mobile and social marketing tools.
Secondly, developing the travel and tourism sector provide gross opportunities and social benefit for all countries regardless of their wealth. Developing and emerging economies are ranked among the 50 most travel and tour competitive countries. There are strong indication it will translate into job opportunities and skill levels
In Africa, South Africa, first on the Africa’s regional table came 48th on the global index and Egypt, Kenya and other countries did well too but Ghana came 120th out of 141 economies including Nigeria who went steep downwards.
Ghana also went back to 18th on a regional level. Ghana’s drawbacks was mainly health & hygiene, ICT readiness and quality of human resource. These three things actually undermined Ghana’s growth in the travel and tourism sector. On the other hand, Ghana improved slightly on business environment and security
Thirdly, Sub Saharan Africa travel and tour industry has significant potential to grow due to its richness in natural resources and culture. There is great potential for Africa to further develop. Some economies have framework in place however, it is mostly still in the early stages of development. It is strongly connected with more general and long-standing development challenges including infrastructure as well as health and hygiene
Most economies identified the strategy to penetrate the sector however, the extent to which the actual implementation of those plans is a national priority very significantly since 1995 to 2011 and afterwards the initial “chosen moral piles” saw high income earners country visits dropping slightly and rest of the world increasing significantly.
In a nutshell, economies who took the challenge competently continue to grow quickly and has proven resilient to shocks, seeking trends and using the most effective tools to attract more international arrivals. Those who prioritised their plans were better equipped to capture the opportunities by recognising that the travel and tourism sector provide growth opportunities for all countries regardless of their wealth and offer job opportunities and increased skills levels.