Why more people are visiting Africa despite its negative perception

Pamela Ofori-Boateng January 17, 2018
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 16: Passengers at O'Hare International Airport wait in line to be screened at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint on May 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Waiting times at the checkpoints today have been reported to be as long 2 hours. The long lines have been blamed for flight delays and a large number of passengers missing flights completely. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Africa continues to be a preferred destination for tourists and the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report throws more light on Africa’s increased international tourist visits for the year 2017.

The report noted that Africa combined its 2016 rebound and reached a record of 62 million international arrivals last year. North Africa recovered with arrivals growing by 13 percent and Sub-Saharan Africa’s arrivals increased by 5 percent.

Ultimately, the report recorded the highest international tourist arrival worldwide with an increase of 7 percent in 2017 and Africa is expected to grow further by 5%-7% in 2018.

If the report is anything to go by, then Africa has attracted more tourists to the region over the past few years.

Considering the fact that Africa has been depicted in the media as poor, war-torn and a difficult place to thrive, why are visits to the continent rising steadily?

To answer, here are five elements motivating people to come to Africa.



Photo Mountain Kilimanjaro, Source -Wikipedia

People are just tired of staying in one spot or visiting same places over and over again and to satisfy cravings for new adventure, they opt for Africa. Africa has a lot of fascinating tourist sites from Victoria Falls of Zambia and Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. Mountain Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain is one popular spot that attracts tourists from all over the world.


Business Opportunity

Photo credit- venturesafrica.com

Africa over the last decades seems to attract people all over the world for business purposes. From manufacturing to agriculture, hospitality to telecommunications, people are investing and reaping benefits.



Photo credit – un.org/Panos Aubrey Wade

Africa has vast relatively cheaper lands for agricultural purposes and this seems to be one motivating factor for people in and around the diaspora to venture here. Some of these people are engaging in snail farming and coffee cultivation.


The Sun

Photo credit – Shutterstock

Although excessive sun exposure could be damaging, some research suggests that sun exposure actually improves brain function and the immune system, so for people in very cold countries, Africa best serves this purpose.


Bonding with the Motherland

Actor Boris Kodjoe and wife in Ghana for holidays, Photo credit – pulse.com.gh

For people of African descent living outside Africa, visiting ‘home’ is a privilege and an opportunity to bond with their motherland. This move enables them to discover their real identities while reconnecting with relatives they had never met.


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