Air travel defies global challenges
DESPITE CONTINUOUS pressure being applied on African governments, in particular the ministries involved in tourism, and executives of airlines throughout the continent to do more to encourage tourism from overseas to Africa, comparatively little is being done.
To be fair, several governments and locally-based airlines are working hard at changing this situation – Rwanda, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Namibia to mention a few – but the majority of states seem to be totally ignoring the economic benefit that is awaiting them if only they woke up to reality.
In recent issues of World Airnews we have carried numerous stories about some airlines and countries spending vast amounts of money on new aircraft, airports, hotels and other facilities all designed to encourage world tourists to their homelands, and it is starting to have some effect, albeit that this is still “scratching the surface”. If anyone doubts this, they should take note of the latest global overview of air travel which shows that passengers from Europe, the Americas and the Far East, are making more bookings and taking more flights, despite recent terrorist attacks and ongoing geo-political wrangles.
These findings were presented to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit, the highest-level annual gathering of travel industry leaders, which took place in Bangkok at the end of April. The report highlights the growing tourism industries in Canada; how Europe is fast recovering from last year’s terrorist attacks; that the Chinese are exploring ASEAN countries instead of South Korea and the BRIC countries are also back on track with Brazil and Russia leading the growth. But nowhere in that report is any mention made of an upwards spiralling tourism influx in any of the 50-plus African countries Not one word !
Many African countries are indeed trying to improve the situation, but they are not trying hard enough. Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and a number of others are doing their best improve their airlines and their countries’ situations, but in many cases are getting scant encouragement or assistance from politicians………………………………. To read the full article please subscribe to our E Magazine Here.