Home » WTTC Report: Why No West African Country Is In The Top 9 Most Visited African Nations

WTTC Report: Why No West African Country Is In The Top 9 Most Visited African Nations

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West Africa

West Africa is the biggest region in Africa with over 400 million people, rich in culture and tourist attractions. It receives the least number of tourists yet, West African Countries generate the highest number of outbound travellers in Africa.

But according to the latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), no West African countries made it to the list of the top 9 most visited countries in Africa.

The report revealed that Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia are the top three African countries attracting the most tourists. Egypt alone received over 11.7 million visitors in 2022, contributing over $29 billion to the country’s economy.
The list of Africa’s most visited countries:
1) Egypt – 11.7 million
2) Morocco – 10.9 million
3) Tunisia – 6.437 million
4) South Africa – 5.7 million
5) Kenya – 1.48 million
6) Tanzania – 1.45 million
7) Rwanda – 1 million
8) Mauritius – 1 million
9) Zimbabwe – 895,338

It has been pointed out that West Africa has the lowest tourism infrastructure score of all African sub-regions, indicating a lack of investment in transportation, accommodations, and tourist attractions. West African countries such as Mali and Guinea-Bissau received fewer than 200,000 visitors each in 2019.

Political instability has also been a major deterrent for tourists. Countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have experienced periods of political unrest and violence, leading to travel warnings and restrictions from foreign governments. Terrorism has also been a major issue in some Countries too with Boko Haram and ISWAP still rampant in those Countries.

READ: Tourism: WTTC list of the Top 9 most visited countries in Africa in 2022, shows that beaches rank as the most popular attraction

Furthermore, West African countries have not been as proactive in promoting themselves as tourist destinations as other African nations. According to the moroccoworldnews.com, Morocco’s tourism revenues reached MAD 81.7 billion ($8 billion) in the first 11 months of 2022. The government now plans to spend $580 million up to 2026 to develop its tourism sector in order to attract more visitors and bring in hard currency, It aims to attract 17.5 million tourists by 2026, up from 11 million last year according to skift.com

However, some West African countries are making efforts to improve their tourism offerings. Ghana, for example, launched a “Year of Return” campaign in 2019, aimed at promoting the country’s cultural heritage and attracting visitors from the African Diaspora. The campaign generated over $1.9 billion in revenue for the country.

We hope that with increased investment in tourism infrastructure, political stability, and marketing efforts, West African countries can attract more tourists and benefit from the economic impact of tourism. As the EIR report shows, there is still much work to be done to develop the tourism industry in the region.

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