Africa: Corona And Tourism, The Demise Of The African Safari
It is now a fact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a pandemic according to World Health Organization (WHO), and just from that stand-point, the tourism sector is not safe from the pandemic pinch.
The world is on its heels, and nations are now rolling a series of aviation restrictions to curb the virus outbreak, limiting numerous economic and societal operations over space and time–which also have ripple effects on the continent’s tourism sphere.
From AllAfrica. Story by Padili Mikomangwa.
Currently, more than 4,900 people have died and over 132,000 have been infected globally, according to the WHO.
In Africa, the virus has recently brought two deaths (in Egypt and Algeria) and serious cases in several nations, including Ethiopia, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa, Togo, and Kenya.
According to WHO, there are now more than 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa, Egypt having more than half of the cases.
In light of the outbreak magnitude, there is a concern that the tourism industry is yet to see more changes that could hurt the most lucrative and paying sector in the continent.
Recently, Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom to mention a few big-players stepped up their precautions and postponed gatherings and other leisure interactions until the upper hand is gained on the deadly virus.
Not only African safaris are hurt by the pandemic, but also meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).
The fate of the African Safari
Numbers do show more. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) says up to 50 million jobs could be lost because of the pandemic, while the travel sector could shrink up to 25 percent in 2020.
In that context, the region could witness a massive drop in arrivals compared to 2019 when the United Nations World Tourism Organization indicated growth in arrivals of 4 percent in line with the global average.
The pandemic is now considered as a threat to the industry by the body, and ripple effects are seen in Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa, Egypt, and Morocco — some of Africa’s vibrant and renowned tourist hotspots in the continent.
Tourism is one of the most important industries in Africa and contributed 8.5 percent (equivalent to $194.2 billion) of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, according to the WTTC.
Also, Africa was the second-fastest growing tourism region with 5.6 percent growth in 2018 against a global average growth rate of 3.9 percent.
Read more at AllAfrica.