KENYA – According to Jumia Travel Hospitality Report Africa, travel & tourism contributed 8.5% to the continent’s GDP in 2018, with the sector recording 7% growth in international tourist arrivals during the year

According to the report, Africa received 67 million international tourist arrivals in 2018 up from 63 million arrivals in 2017 and 58 million in 2016.

This gradual increase is attributed to the affordability and ease of travel especially within the continent, with spending among domestic travellers accounting for 56% as compared to 44% international expenditure. Additionally, leisure travel remains an important component of Africa’s tourism industry, taking up a majority 71% of the tourist expenditure in 2018.

Estelle Verdie, Jumia’s Head of Travel, during the 3rd launch of the report said, “Our focus is to continue showcasing Africa as a continent full of beauty and opportunity. Through this report, we want to help draw attention to the vast potential of the tourism industry, that we believe is an untapped lever of economic growth.”

Verdie notes that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is expected to further boost domestic travel.

“To realize the full potential gains will require cooperation from all industry players. Governments must be willing to eliminate visa requirements for African nationals traveling to their countries.

“Ministries and other responsible partner organizations should create campaigns that will promote their local travel destinations and tourism offerings to attract more regional travellers. At Jumia, we will continue to offer diversified products at affordable prices including resident rates for regional travellers booking through our platform, “she added.

The third edition report shows that while pay-at-hotel remained the most popular mode of payment among travellers booking via Jumia’s travel platform, its percentage use went down from 65% in 2018 to 62% in 2019. Card transactions gained popularity with +24% within the same period.

On the other hand, the use of mobile money and travel agencies decreased by -11% and -20% respectively. The mobile, as a source of traffic on the Jumia Travel platform, accounted for a record 74% in 2019 from 57% in 2018, seen as a result of the increased mobile penetration in the continent. The mobile industry contributed $144 billion to Africa’s economy (8.6% of total GDP) in 2018, up from $110 billion (7.1% of total GDP) in 2017.

Jumia Travel is a Pan African Online Travel Agency. It has more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than a hundred flight companies as partners. It is active in over 40 countries in Africa, with local offices, and hundreds of travel specialists constantly in touch with our customers.