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Obama and World Cup boost Africa holidays' popularity

  • 26-Jan-10 14:14
  • Africa
  • Holiday Industry

Obama's Kenyan descent together with the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town are factors making travellers look at Africa holidays in a more appealing way than ever before!

Obama and World Cup boost Africa holidays' popularity
According to the head of the UN World Tourism Organisation Africa holidays have been given a double boost from Obama’s Kenyan descent while the 2010 World Cup being held in Cape Town accounts for another factor in helping to give African tourism an unprecedented boost and defy the global tourism downturn.
Taleb Rifai, head of the UNWTO said during a conference in Madrid: “There has been a shift in the way people look at Africa,”
“Africa is now considered a very serious destination for travellers from the major generating markets,”
The UNWTO last week released tourism figures that showed Africa holidays had “bucked the global trend” in tourism in 2009, being the only continent to experience an increase in the number of international tourist arrivals last year - with traveller numbers rising by as much as 5%.
This figure is significant when compared to a fall of 4% worldwide, attributed to the economic crisis and the swine flu pandemic affecting many holiday destinations worldwide.
However Rifai said Africa’s share of the travel and tourism market was just 5% - or around 50 million tourists from a total of nearly 900 million, so there is still plenty of potential to be developed and explored for increasing awareness to the Africa holiday appeal.
The African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) says this year’s World Cup will have an “enormous effect”.
“The World Cup is certainly the most exciting thing to happen to Africa, not just southern Africa, all Africans are very proud that it’s going to be there,”- Nigel Vere Nicoll, the ATTA’s head, told the AFP news agency.
Meanwhile the Kenya’s tourist board says that the fact that President Obama’s father was from the country has led to an increase in American tourists taking holidays to Kenya.
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