Yes, you did in fact read the title correctly. The future of tourism is Africans... not Africa. Although truth be told, the future of tourism could very well be Africa too, if the continent plays its cards right. But that is a piece for another day.
Today is the day that I want you to close your eyes and be transported to 2050. Peel away your impressed gaze at how far we have advanced with driverless flying taxis, human-integrated AI, and a city so smart it pre-empts your every need. To look at the people around you and you will see- beyond the realistically human robots- a world where one in four people is African. A world where one in four consumers is African. A world where one in four travellers is African. Let that sink in for a moment.
Hmm- I hear you think as you open your eyes- that's pretty interesting but 2050 is pretty far away.
Believe it or not, this future is not so far off.
By 2030, Africa will already be home to 1,7 billion of the world's 8.5 billion people. Which means 1 in 5 consumers in the world will be African within the next 9 years. Yes I hear you argue that is hardly a page turner because Africa's predicted household consumption is only predicted to reach $2.5 trillion, while China's private consumption is set to reach 12.7 trillion. Africa is hardly set to be the future.
But this is where you are wrong.
Take a closer look at the numbers and you will see why this story is more of a page turner than you think. By 2030, Africa will be the youngest growing society in the world with 1 billion of its 1.7 billion people being of working age. While in contrast, China's declining population will be the world's most aged society. So while China's consumer spending might dwarf Africa's, this does not mean that their travel spending will. An aged, and aging, population means that the number of trips- especially long-haul trips- taken by Chinese travellers will be decreasing year on year.
In contrast, the numbers of African travellers will be burgeoning year on year. Driven by a young, mobile and increasingly affluent middle and upper class (of over 582 million and 116 million respectively). By 2030, it is predicted that this market will be spending $260 billion on hospitality and recreation. To put that in perspective, the Chinese market- that everyone is so desperate to attract- spent approximately $203 billion on hospitality and recreation in 2019. I think you will agree that is without doubt that the African market is set to become just as lucrative.
And while the valuable Chinese source market is set to shrink by 2050, the African source market is set for exponential growth.
There is no doubt that the future of tourism is Africans.
The question is, what are you doing to prepare for the future of tourism? Because if you are not working on your strategy to attract this market. You will lose out.
If you want to know more, reach out to me.