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South Africa, Kenya, Gambia Jostle For Nigerian Tourists

By Ajibola Amzat
04 April 2015   |   1:05 am
Last year, South Africa Tourism (SAT), the department responsible for the marketing of South African destination opened a regional office in Lagos. According to the outgoing Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the decision was taken having realized that Nigeria contributes the highest number of African tourist arrival in South Africa. 73282 Nigerian tourists visited the country in 2012 according to SAT stat.
Cape town South Africa-prasannaholidays

Cape town South Africa-prasannaholidays

AS contribution of tourism sector to GDP is becoming more visible and assured, many countries are exploring new markets to bring in revenues from the sector. According to UNWTO, tourism has   become one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world with arrival growth in Sub-saharan Africa estimated at 5 percent.

Driven by this finding, countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Gambia now target Nigerian tourists in order to boost their foreign earnings. Tourism contributes 3.6 to South Africa GDP, 11 percent to Kenya GDP and about 16 percent to Gambia GDP.

Last year, South Africa Tourism (SAT), the department responsible for the marketing of South African destination opened a regional office in Lagos.

According to the outgoing Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the decision was taken having realized that Nigeria contributes the highest number of African tourist arrival in South Africa. 73282 Nigerian tourists visited the country in 2012 according to SAT stat.

The country’s tourist arrivals from Nigeria, grew by 15.4 per cent to 84 589 arrivals in 2013.  Schalkwyk expressed optimism that the arrival from Nigeria would continue to grow.

Similarly, Kenya has identified Nigeria as one of the markets that has shown potentials for its tourism growth.  

A new survey on local, regional and international travel based on a 2014 bookings by Jovago reveals that Nigeria contributes highest African tourist customer of Kenya. 

According to the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), 15, 029 tourists visited the East Africa country in 2012, with business visitors accounting for 1,340, conference visitors 968 and 9,682 vacationers. And since 2013, KTB has been targeting 50, 000 tourists.

To actualize this objective, Kenyan government has inaugurated a new visa regime that allows Nigerians obtain visa at the point of entry in order to make the process faster.

The Nigerians access to Kenya is also made smooth by through the operation of the Kenyan Airways, its national carrier that operates direct flight from Nairobi to Lagos, and recently to Abuja.

The Gambia is another country that has identified Nigeria as a viable partner to grow its tourism sector, which is the second largest contributor to its economy after agriculture.

At the launching of ‘Destination Launch’ of the Gambia in Nigeria last year, the Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture,  Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie said her country has come to a conclusion that Nigeria is a market that cannot be ignored in their drive to increase  annual tourism arrival numbers. The Gambia Ecotourism, which is second to South Africa and the friendliness of Gambians is the major reason why Nigerians should prefer Gambia as their tourism destination instead of going elsewhere around the world, she said.

The minister wants Nigerians to choose the Gambia as their holiday and business destination.