Tourist arrival numbers to Africa from key source markets across the globe, were at their highest for 2021 last month, with 54% of supplier respondents operating at occupancies of 40% to 80%.
This is according to the latest monthly (October 2021) African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA) Snapshot Survey. It is more than double the figures recorded in July where only 22% of supplier respondents were operating at between 40% and 80% occupancies.
The survey showed further that Africa’s domestic market remained essential, with 93% of respondents receiving local direct bookings. Other top source markets for respondents were Germany, the US, Switzerland and France.
Arrivals through the international trade channel increased to 79% in October – the strongest all year. Note: arrivals from the international trade channel were at 48% in July.
Here are some of the key take-outs from the October snapshot survey:
- Arrivals from Germany were especially high.
- 50% of those meant to travel in October actually travelled, according to both the tour operator and DMC respondents, an increase of 11% and 36% respectively over September’s figures.
- 45% of tour operator respondents said their clients were confident to travel with all the correct insurance and medical documentation – a 13% increase over September’s figure.
Bookings and enquiries
- 90% of tour operator respondents received new enquiries for Africa in October, an increase of 11% from September and the highest percentage of 2021.
- Tanzania was most popular (re enquiries) followed closely by Kenya, South Africa and Botswana.
- Tour operator enquiries were mainly from: USA (76%), UK (31%) and Continental Europe (26%). This was mirrored in responses from DMCs.
Lead times are lengthening according to 58% of supplier respondents but enquiries with short lead times are most common, from both domestic and international markets.
- Christmas and New Year are in strong demand.
Whilst postponements from 2020 have reduced for suppliers, they are still making up a significant amount of business for DMCs and tour operators.
- 28% of DMC respondents reported that 80-99% of their future business is postponements from 2020.
- 26% of tour operators reported that 40-60% of their future business was made up of postponements from 2020.
Throughout the year, ATTA – a member-driven trade association that promotes tourism to Africa from all corners of the world – has been taking a ‘snapshot’ at the end of each month from the perspective of accommodation providers, DMCs, tour operators and agents, and private guides.
The survey provides an indication of what is happening within the broader African travel and tourism industry and focuses on, among others: Who is actually travelling each month? How are they booking? Where are they enquiring to go to? What are the lead times of bookings?
The survey is only sent to those within the ATTA membership and its greater industry network, spanning thousands of companies around the globe.