The Determinants of African Tourism

Working Paper 260
Author(s): 
Johan Fourie and Maria Santana-Gallego
Publication date: 
December, 2011
Journal: 
Development Southern Africa

Using a standard panel gravity equation of 175 origin/destination countries between 1995 and 2008, 37 of which are African, we identify the factors that drive African-inbound (arrivals to Africa from other continents) and within-African tourism (arrivals from and to an African country). We find that the determinants of African-inbound and within-African tourism are not all that different from global tourism flows; repeat tourism, income, distance, land area and the standard dummy variables not only drives global or OECD tourism, but also tourism within Africa, disproving the belief that African tourists "differ substantially". Not only does the growth in tourism over the last decade provide encouraging signs for the continent, but these results show that policy makers can now play an active role in promoting African tourism, both from outside but especially from within the continent's borders.

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