By Ajibola Amzat
Cape town South Africa-prasannaholidays
AS contribution of tourism sector to GDP is becoming more visible and assured, many countries are exploring new markets to bring in revenues from the sector. According to UNWTO, tourism has become one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world with arrival growth in Sub-saharan Africa estimated at 5 percent.
Driven by this finding, countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Gambia now target Nigerian tourists in order to boost their foreign earnings. Tourism contributes 3.6 to South Africa GDP, 11 percent to Kenya GDP and about 16 percent to Gambia GDP.
Last year, South Africa Tourism (SAT), the department responsible for the marketing of South African destination opened a regional office in Lagos.
According to the outgoing Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the decision was taken having realized that Nigeria contributes the highest number of African tourist arrival in South Africa. 73282 Nigerian tourists visited the country in 2012 according to SAT stat.
The country’s tourist arrivals from Nigeria, grew by 15.4 per cent to 84 589 arrivals in 2013. Schalkwyk expressed optimism that the arrival from Nigeria would continue to grow.
Similarly, Kenya has identified Nigeria as one of the markets that has shown potentials for its tourism growth.