Tourists are coming to Africa for many purposes and the following are key ones;
- Have Fun
- Taste Africa food
- Mix with people and the various African cultures
- Enjoy the climate
- To follow the African history
- Enjoy the beauty of Africa
- Shopping in the local markets
- To enjoy the wildlife
- To see natural wanders
- African trips are affordable
Is Africa ready to provide the above?
Yes and no depending on which country of Africa you are looking at. There is a need for a number of African countries to develop the capacity to attract high income tourists. African is now considered a cheap tourist destination and is quite attractive to low income tourists.
Give the tourists what they want
A tourist is a customer is a king or queen in own palace who has certain needs to be met by the suppliers. The tourists are willing to travel to any continent or place in the world looking for suppliers with the capacity to meet their needs. Africa has to know what tourists want from Africa before attracting them to come to Africa. Africa must have the capacity to attract, serve and retain tourists.
Let us tell the world what we offer
Africa has quite many tourists’ attractions although quite a number of attractions need packaging. For example Africa food which is very delicious has to be packaged in a way which is attractive to the foreigners. Africa must blow its trumpet.
Wildlife in natural habitat
Tourists are looking for wildlife and other tourist attractions in their natural habitats. For sure majority of tourists have seen animals in the Zoo and on various TV stations and what they are missing is seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat. The habitat of the national parks in Africa must remain as natural as possible. Tourists are not coming to Africa see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Challenges Africa faces in attracting tourists
Africa faces a lot of challenges in attracting tourists including the following;
- Tourism is not a key priority development area for a number of countries
- Inadequate infrastructure to attract tourists is not well developed across Africa
- Africans do not play a key role in attracting tourists to Africa
- Domestic tourism within the countries and across Africa is quite low
- Unaccepted Western cultures which erode the moral fibre end up in Africa
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited