Air Connectivity Remains A Challenge For Intra Africa Travel

Date:

  • remains cumbersome to travel within the continent than outbound

Africa continues to face the challenge of air connectivity which remains a major hindrance to intra Africa travel, making travel within the continent a nightmare when compared to travelling outside.

The issue reared its ugly head again at the just ended Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban last week, where different tourism ministers attending discussed and concurred that while intra Africa travel and collaborations among destinations was a good initiative for the continent’s tourism industry growth, air connectivity stood in the way.

At the 2023 Africa’s Travel Indaba, there was emphasis made on African destinations collaboration, and also promotion of intra Africa travel. This was an avenue identified for post Covid recovery and growth of the tourism industry.

This as in some instances one has to fly abroad first before they are able to reconnect back to certain countries in Africa, making travel cumbersome and extremely expensive.

South Africa Tourism minister Patricia De Lille told delegates at the Indaba that air connectivity in Africa and within Africa remains a challenge, adding that it is currently difficult to fly within the continent than it is to fly from Africa to the outside world.

She revealed that, together with her counterparts from the continent who attended the Indaba, they have noted the importance of improved air connectivity and relaxed visa regimes to facilitate intra Africa travel.

Meanwhile De Lille revealed that South Africa received the highest numbers of arrivals from Africa, at 75% last year. This she said was testament that Africa can enhance travel and the growth of tourism in the continent.

On the Africa’s Travel Indaba, De Lille said with more than 1200 exhibitors from 26 Africa countries – showcasing 344 products to 1100 buyers from 55 countries, the event asserted its position as a global trade show.

De Lille opened the trading floor for these nearly three-decade old travel show that is run by the South African Tourism and attracts both travel exhibitors and whole buyers from across the world – proving an opportunity for interaction, networking and sharing of latest trends in travel.

Held under the theme Unlimited Africa, the minister said it speaks to unlimited potential of a continent that boasts diverse landscape, of culture and experience that offer limitless possibilities for exploration and growth.

“The theme affirms that Africa is not confined by boundaries, but is expansive offerings, endless opportunities for discovery and innovation in the tourism sector,” she reiterated.

During the show, exhibitors hold meetings with buyers where trade deals are made –and the year’s event was fully sold out giving the exhibitors a rare opportunity to maximise on these engagements.

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