What is the most visited country in Africa? You are probably seeking an answer to this question because you’re planning a trip to Africa, and would probably want to find out what are the top tourist countries in Africa. If my guess is as good as yours, then this article will provide a clearer view of the most visited countries in Africa.
There are unarguably tens of top tourist countries in Africa; the reason why Africa is ranked as the second-fastest growing tourism region in the world—behind Asia.
Growing at a blistering rate of 5.6 percent compared to the global 3.9 percent—as of 2018. Africa tourism sector is heading to a new height.
Top Tourist Countries in Africa
With over 1.2 billion people—which contribute 16 percent of the entire world’s human population, Africa is the second-most largest and densely populated continent in the world—behind Asia.
Travel and Tourism play a vital role in the key development of the emerging economies around the world—and Africa is no exception.
That said, in this article, you will find the top most visited country in Africa.
Economic Benefits of Tourism
There are numerous economic benefits of tourism to a country, which is why some countries are slowly picking up the pace by investing heavily to improve and maintain their tourism infrastructures.
While big players such as the United States, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Thailand rake several billions of dollars in revenue per year through tourist attractions, the Africa tourism sector has seen a great deal of surge in international tourist arrivals since the last decades.
According to data released by the World Tourism Organization, African tourist attractions saw the highest growth of tourist arrivals.
Advantages of tourism in Africa
- Aid in jobs creation
- Enhance economic growths and development
- Account for gross domestic product (GDP)
- Enhance environmental protection
- Cultural preservation
- Bring peace and security to the host country.
Here in this article, you will find some of the top places to visit in Africa. Our list is ranked from 1 to 10, and purely based on factors such as the number of tourist arrivals per year, and the revenue generated per annum, etc.
These Are the 10 Most Visited Country in Africa
1. South Africa
South Africa claim the first spot as the most visited country in Africa 2020.
Having won the right to host the World Cup in 2010—South Africa tourism skyrocketed immediately with influx of visitors, and created job opportunities in the construction of stadiums and hotels.
Although the sector has long been struck with dwindling numbers of visitors Post-2010 World Cup.
However, South Africa still commands the largest share of tourists on the continent.
South African Tourism Revenue
Tourism in South Africa account for more than 1.5 million jobs, $30.5 billion in revenue and roughly 16.85 million tourists arriving in South Africa every year.
That should give a sense why South Africa has become the powerhouse of tourism in Africa.
Egypt is by far one of the most visited country in Africa—owing to its historical records, background and values which has contributed immensely to the ever-growing tourism sector.
Over 11.34 million tourists spent around 121 nights in 2018, with each tourist spending well over $100 per night.
Majority of tourist arrivals are from Europe, Asia, Arab, Germany and United Kingdom.
As in most tourist destinations in Africa, Europe remains the biggest market for Egypt’s tourism—account for 7 million visitors in 2018 alone.
Egypt Tourism Revenue
Egypt’s Tourism Revenue growth reached 50 percent from 2017 to 2018. A landmark revenue of about $11.4 billion dollars was recorded in 2018—as opposed to $7.6 billion in 2017.
Without any doubt, Morocco is the third most visited country in Africa—behind their Northern neighbor, Egypt.
The government of Morocco is leaving no stone unturned in the tourist sector—hence, the prioritization of tourism sector is top-notch, as it is seen as a major tool to foster rapid growth and development.
As part of its vision 2020 directly aiming at bringing tourism sector to the forefront, Morocco and China are set to launch a direct flight that will connect the two countries by the end of 2019 and January to March 2020.
As of 2019, Chinese tourists fly through Europe or the Middle East to visit Morocco.
Apart from being hugely expensive, it is time consuming as well. Being able fly back-and-forth directly to these two countries will definitely add a massive boost to the growth and development of Morocco’s economy through tourism.
Morocco Tourism Revenue
The total revenue generated in the sector rose from $7.29 billion in 2017 to a whopping $7.65 billion in 2018—and growing.
Tourism sector has become one of the most important source of revenue to the country; contributing enormously to the economy.
Tanzania’s tourism sector saw a spike in arrivals which rose from 1.33 million in 2017 to 1.49 million in 2018—thanks to increase in international arrivals from Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Americas, Middle East and Africa.
Although visitors hailing from Europe still accounts for the largest arrivals in recent years.
Tanzania Tourism Revenue
Tanzania’s Tourism Revenue has been very impressive—especially in the past five years.
Revenue rose from $2.19 billion in 2017 to $2.43 billion dollars in 2018—increased by 7.13 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
The Mauritians statistics office claimed that tourist arrivals is expected to rise to more than 1,425,000 before the last quarter of 2019.
In 2018, well over 1.34 million tourists were attracted to the island nation. The number is expected to rise even farther due to steadily increase of visitors.
Last year, South Africa made 8.4 percent of the total inbound international markets.
Mauritius Tourism Revenue
Mauritius Tourism Revenue report released in the last quarter of 2018 was allegedly closed to $1.83 billion dollars.
Although, a small country—but one of the biggest player in Africa’s tourism sector.
Travel & Tourism has so far contributed over 1.1 million jobs to the Kenyan economy. Tourism being the second-largest source of revenue generation behind agriculture.
It account for 8.8 percent to Kenya’s GDP in 2018. In that year, the largest inbound international markets were as follows:
- United States – 11 percent
- United Kingdom – 9 percent
- India – 6 percent
- China – 4 percent
- Germany – 4 percent
Kenya Tourism Revenue
Kenya’s Tourism Revenue reached $1.55 billion dollars in 2018. Making it fourth on our list of top tourist countries in Africa.
Ethiopia’s tourism growth surpass the global average rate of 3.9 percent and the African average of 5.6 percent.
Nearly 2.2 million jobs can rightly be attributed to the boom in tourism—adding $7.4 billion to the country’s economy.
Ethiopia Tourism Revenue
Tourism revenue totaled $1.4 billion dollars in 2018. Estimated of 380,376 international tourists arrived Ethiopia’s tourist attraction sites in 2018.
Tunisia’s tourism sector is getting back a breath of fresh air after a damaging effect caused by terror attacks on museum and a beach resort in 2015, where sixty people—mostly tourists, lost their lives.
Travel and Tourism sector suffered the greatest blow over that incidents.
However, things has since returned to normal owing to a much more improvement in security.
Because of this, international tourists from Europe and Algeria are returning to the country, translating to more arrivals and revenues.
Tunisia Tourism Revenue
Tunisia’s Tourism Revenue in 2018 is the largest ever. A record breaking $1.36 billion.
That is roughly 45 percent increase compared to 2017. With 8.3 million visitors coughing out $1.36 billion in 2018 alone.
I’d bet a pound to a penny that Tunisia’s tourism is back on track.
Amidst economic slowdown hindering the country of a stable financial growth—thanks to the tourism sector which has spring surprises over the past few years.
Zimbabwe’s Tourism Authority has stressed the need for investment in the sector.
Zimbabwe Tourism Revenue
Zimbabwe Tourism Revenue managed to reach a milestone of $1.050 billion dollars in 2018 compared to $917 million dollars in 2017.
Tourist destinations in Uganda are gaining huge traction from international visitors around the world.
Uganda’s government has recently launched a campaign on tourism with the sole aim of attracting millions of tourists in few years to come.
Uganda Tourism Revenue
Over 1.8 million tourists visited Uganda in 2018—a massive increase from 1.4 million in 2017.
Earning a revenue of $1.4 billion in 2017; the sector is actively contributing over 10 percent to the GDP.
These are some of the most recommended places to visit in Africa as far as tourism is concern. We are expecting to see more growth in Africa’s tourism sector over the next decade. Until then, we’ll keep you posted.
However, if you’ve been looking for the top most visited country in Africa, we hope you’ll find this article helpful.