African destinations switch to growth mode, attractive business & luxury travel prospects: ForwardKeys

Rwanda’s MICE recovery a potentially rich sector
2023-11-06
/
/ New Delhi
Africa
African destinations switch to growth mode, attractive business & luxury travel prospects: ForwardKeys

African destinations are now witnessing substantial growth for many nations, Rwanda leading at the forefront

Latest data collated by analyst firm ForwardKeys says that with lucrative business and luxury travel prospects, African destinations are now witnessing substantial growth. Many nations, with Rwanda at the forefront, are reporting positive figures and boasting double-digit growth.
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African destinations are entering a growth phase in visitor arrivals in Q4 2023, with Cameroon having witnessed 27 pc rise in international arrivals compared with 2019, Rwanda up by 15 pc, Tanzania up by 15 pc and Namibia up by 10 pc leading the way and boasting double-digit growth.

These are some of the highlights of a report by market intelligence firm ForwardKeys, prepared in collaboration with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The report with forecast for the full year results for 2023 equipped with its latest air ticketing data was released at the recent WTTC Global Summit in Rwanda. 

“This latest data from ForwardKeys shows an undeniable appetite for travel to destinations across Africa. These search trends reveal potential new source markets for several African destinations and now is the time to seize the opportunities for growth,” says WTTC President and CEO, Julia Simpson.

“Most destinations are expected to switch to growth mode during the last quarter of the year, although there is still an uneven recovery amongst countries. Strong demand from the VFR segment is driving the fastest-recovering regions in Central and West Africa. This trend is expected to continue and accelerate as we head towards the Christmas peak season,” says Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

Rwanda is in a good position for business and luxury travel

However, business travel to African destinations is still in recovery mode although there are some destinations that are performing better than others, adds the statement. Senegal is expected to experience a 22 pc increase in business travel in Q4, Rwanda 21 pc, and Cameroon 25 pc.

The statement adds that Rwanda’s recovery in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector is benefiting the country significantly, with the country emerging as the third fastest-growing business destination in Africa in Q4. The revival of business travel is a positive sign of increased economic activity and investment in Rwanda. Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA are the most dynamic source markets for business travel to Rwanda, with growth rates of 30 pc, 13 pc and 11 pc respectively.

ForwardKeys adds that air ticketing data also shows that the recovery of travel to Rwanda is being driven by passengers travelling in premium cabin classes, which is up 37 pc in Q4 compared to 13 pc for economy class. This indicates that there is growing interest from high-end premium travellers who are likely to spend more on high-end luxury goods and services during their stay at a destination.

ForwardKeys says Rwanda serves as an excellent example of how improved connectivity could benefit the destination by enhancing the ease of travel. Currently, 70 pc of international arrivals involve transfer hubs to arrive in Rwanda, mainly Addis Ababa Bole Airport, Brussels Airport, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport. Further analysis reveals that there is a great business opportunity to increase the number of direct flights, for example from the United States and Germany, as evidenced by the number of flight searches per source market.

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