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Travel to Africa ‘hits highest level this year’

Tanzania was Africa’s most popular destination, followed by Kenya, South Africa and Botswana

Africa’s tourist numbers have hit their highest level this year with the majority of operators attracting new enquiries on the back of easing travel restrictions.

The Africa Travel and Tourism Association found that 54% of suppliers were operating at between 40% and 80% levels last month against just 22% occupancy in July.

International arrivals via trade channels increased to 79%, the strongest all year and up from 48% in July

Tanzania was most popular destination followed closely by Kenya, South Africa and Botswana.

Tour operator enquiries were mainly from the US (76%), UK (31%) and continental Europe (26%), suggesting the potential for growth within GCC markets.

ATTA said: “The increase in confidence to travel is further supported by 45% of tour operator respondents outlining their clients are now confident to travel with all the correct insurance and medical documentation, a strong increase of 13% from September.”

The new data showed that 90% of tour operator respondents received new enquiries for Africa in October, an increase of 11% from September and the highest percentage of 2021.

Lead times are lengthening, according to 58% of supplier respondents, with bookings starting into 2023.

Strong demand is also being shown for Christmas and new year.

October is the first month this year where suppliers have reported an increase in financial support to their community and conservation projects.

“However, support remains below 50% of pre-Covid times for the majority of respondents,” ATTA added.

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