Impact of tourism in Africa
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The impact of tourism in Africa accounts for more cash moving from rich to poor countries than governments give in aid. Tourismconstitutes over 10% of total exports in more than half of African countries for which there is data. In countries such as Mali and The Gambia, tiny annual international arrival figures of 70,000 – that’s less than 200 tourists a day – are significant and tourism contributes 10.1% and 30.5% of total exports for these countries respectively.
But can tourism really be pro-poor? Yes, according to Caroline Ashley and Jonathan Mitchell, but only if current practices change. On the contrary it is fairly clear that isolated, ‘alternative’ and small-scale initiatives are unlikely to have the impact or market linkages to delivering the scale of benefits to the poor that are realistically possible from changes at the margin to mainstream tourism.
Over the decade of the 1990s, Africa has experienced a rise in tourist arrivals from 8.4 million to 10.6 million. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO, 2006), the tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed a robust annual market share growth rate of 10 percent in 2006. In spite of this, there are only few empirical studies that investigate the contributions of tourism to economic growth and development for African economies.
Using a panel data of 42 African countries for the years that span from 1995 to 2004.This study explores the potential contribution of tourism to economic growth and development within the conventional neoclassical framework. The results show that receipts from the tourism industry significantly contribute both to the current level of gross domestic product and the economic growth of Sub-Saharan African countries as do investments in physical and human capital.
Author: by Yunus S. Saliu