International visitors to North Africa tipped to exceed 37 million to 2022

By Luke Barras-hill |

Morocco-Airport

Mohamed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Anass Sedrati.

North Africa will increase its volume of international tourist arrivals to 37.4 million (CAGR +4.8%) by 2022, according to leading data and analytics firm GlobalData.

Tourism to the region will be buffered by a rise in adventure tourism, shifting travel advice and enhanced connectivity, suggests a *new report titled ‘Destination Market Insights: North Africa’.

The firm says tourism confidence has slowly restored following the terrorist attacks in Tunisia and onboard a Saint Petersburg-bound flight from Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015.

Last month (22 October), the UK Government lifted restrictions on flights to Sharm el-Sheikh having deemed it safe for commercial airlines to resume route operations as a result of improved aviation security.

RETAIL AWARENESS GROWING

Laura Beaton, Travel and Tourism Analyst, Global Data said: “The region as a whole has been blighted by safety concerns and a number of high-profile terrorist attacks directly targeting travellers.

“However, the region has so much to offer and with the right marketing techniques, there is great potential to increase tourism numbers above and beyond pre-Arab Spring numbers.”

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa welcomed approximately 5% of the 1.4bn worldwide international tourism arrivals in 2018.

Of that, North Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia – accounted for roughly 2% of that figure. Sub-Saharan African countries made up around 3% of arrivals.

GlobalData-Africa-North

Source: GlobalData.

As TRBusiness noted in its flagship October print issue, airports across the continent continue to pay closer attention to the merits of travel retail revenues to level off high capital investment costs associated with infrastructure developments that are frequently covered by aviation charges.

In an exclusive interview, ACI Africa Secretary General Ali Tounsi explained that despite retail concessions currently accounting for roughly 33% of total non-aeronautical revenue generation – lower compared with other regions – new terminal developments are permitting more space for commercial activities.

“Fortunately, we have observed a paradigm shift during the past few years and African airports are becoming more and more revenue conscious and turning gradually to non-aeronautical revenue streams because of the higher profit margin, greater financial stability and sustainability as well as the capacity to withstand traffic volatility to some extent,” he told this publication.

To read the full interview, see the October print issue of TRBusiness.

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*Report covers Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia

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