Unleashing the Potential of Africa’s Domestic Markets

Event Africa Contributor 06/10/2021 MKTE

Tourism is definitely one of the key sectors contributing to unleashing Africa’s potential, Geoffrey Manyara, Economic Affairs Officer in charge of tourism for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said during a panel discussion on Changing Landscapes of Africa’s Source Markets.

“There has always been a focus on external markets but we need to understand the potential of our domestic markets and how important they are in getting traction on the African continent,” Geoffrey said.

Mohanjeet Brar, Managing Director of Gamewatchers Safaris, one of the longest established tour operators in Kenya, agreed that the domestic market is very important and said that the region had noticed an increase in domestic travellers.

“We had many local travellers impressed with the products Kenya has to offer, which proves that the domestic market is very important. We need to tap into these markets as we noticed that the majority of local travellers prefer to travel close to home over the holiday periods like Easter or Christmas and we need to provide them with these experiences, as Kenya has some of the best safaris in the world.”

In response to Covid, Small World Marketing launched Africa Hub which is a platform to educate the trade on Africa. “We have 2100 agents in over 66 countries for the Africa Hub, which clearly shows that there is interest in African countries and a demand for learning,” said Anita Powell who is a leading UK representative working on some of Kenya’s leading hotels and lodges.

Rosemary Mugambi, Regional Sales and Marketing Director of Serena Hotel, highlighted that the Kenya hospitality industry is open and ready for business. “We had the last year and a half to prepare the hospitality industry to open up again, preparing our staff, making sure they’re all vaccinated, and getting the necessary equipment to ensure we stick to the health and safety protocols that are needed to allow travellers into the region,” said Rosemary.