With the increase in purchasing power, the number of Chinese tourists is growing rapidly. Thus, it is estimated that by 2020, 200 million Chinese will go on a trip abroad. In the discovery of the world, it seems the Chinese people are tired of the traditional destinations such as Europe or North America to venture off the beaten track, particularly in Africa.
A growing destination
China has always maintained a link with Africa, especially in business, illustrated by strong trade links, and by establishing numerous bilateral agreements that have encouraged tourism. New routes are even set up to facilitate exchanges (Direct Flight Beijing / Johannesburg).
Nothing could predict the sudden tourist interest in Africa on the part of Chinese tourists.Especially in 2008, there were only 2.6% have chosen Africa as a travel destination.
Chinese in search of exoticism
Here are the 10 countries the most successful in Africa by Chinese tourists.
1. South Africa
The increase in Chinese tourists in South Africa is impressive and knows growths of more than 50% from one year to another. The development of Chinese tourism in South Africa is strongly due to the introduction of the direct flight between Beijing and Johannesburg. The Chinese are the fourth nationality sightseeing.
Chinese tourists contribute significantly to the development of the tourism sector in Egypt. During the Egyptian revolution, a travel ban to Egypt had been decreed by the Chinese government before being lifted. A boon in a country where tourism represents 10% of the economy.
Kenya’s wildlife attracts a growing number of Chinese tourists, fascinated by safaris and especially by the annual migration of animals. The number of Chinese tourists to Kenya has tripled in recent years.
Cameroon was declared as a destination “approved” by the Chinese Government in 2011. Nicknamed “the miniature Africa”, Cameroon has no fewer than 830 sites. Ecotourism has great potential. Indeed, the country is full of wildlife reserves and lush landscapes.
In 2012, more than one million Chinese tourists visited Senegal, representing great potential for the country. This figure is expected to surpass the 3 million visitors by 2023, especially as Senegal was designated “tourist destination” by China.
Air Algeria suffered from a lack of profitability on the line Algiers – Beijing and was about to remove the route. However, renewed interest has allowed the maintenance of this line is now taken by 80% by Chinese. Air Algeria would now open a first class to meet a businessman’s clients and wealthy tourists.
Angola wants to diversify its economy by strengthening its tourism sector. The destination has become very popular with Chinese tourists, as and as the trade links between the two countries have strengthened.
8. South Sudan
Like many African destinations, the flow of Chinese nationality people started thanks to agreements and various commercial and political ties maintained by China and those countries.South Sudan is no exception and is attracting more and more Chinese. Lakes, national parks and landscape of coral make it a country with a fauna and flora.
If once the Chinese tourists were rather unwelcome by the Mauritian hospitality, the changing behavior of Chinese tourists abroad has improved their status on the island. They are now pampered and many circuits of activities and tours are set up for this purpose.
Zimbabwe received only 5,000 Chinese tourists in 2014. But in a statement, the country has set ambitious goals and aims 50,000 by the end of 2015. Zimbabwe has a major asset : the mighty Victoria Falls, a highly attractive place for tourists worldwide.
Chinese tourism to Africa represents a great potential. The economic strategy of Africa seems to be heading towards the exploitation of its natural resources to develop the promising tourism sector and create jobs. Moreover, tourism booming in Africa (5% growth in 2013), meets the evolving needs of Chinese tourists, which are themselves more and more people travel. A destination like Morocco, for example has great prospects for developments in the Chinese tourism.
To attract more Chinese tourists, Africa will seek to improve its infrastructure and safety and especially understanding of the Chinese tourist. Indeed Chinese tourists always prefer organized trips when traveling in Africa as these destinations are always a risk in the eyes of Chinese. The Chinese have even invested in a plan to help Africa in improving the safety of its civil aviation.
Tourism has the potential to become a key driver of economic growth in Africa.