Africa’s tourism levels have increased over the past few years due to the now famous ‘Obama Effect’. The US Presidents African heritage has attracted a large number of visitors to the continent; the Kenyan heritage of Obama’s father has led to a boom in ‘roots tourism’ especially with African Americans. Obama’s election has also increased tourism to Kolego, a Kenyan village where the US president’s grandmother still lives.
Many tourism agencies are also offering ‘Obama packages’ such as African Travel Waves’ ‘President Obama Africa Roots Tour’ which offers visitors the opportunity to visit his ancestral home and learn more about his history.
Another tourism boost for the continent is June’s World Cup, held in South Africa. Over 450,000 people are expected to travel to South Africa for the football tournament to enjoy the games. World Cup organiser Danny Jordan has stated that he hopes that the increased amount of tourists arriving for the world cup will push subsequent annual tourism to over 10 million a year. Neighbouring countries are also expected to feel the benefit of the World Cup, with many seeing a visible increase in tourism and accommodation demand.
With the decline in tourism that Africa has suffered in the past few years, these two factors are hopefully the key to increasing visitor numbers to the continent. The popularity of President Obama has provided Africa with fantastic tourism links, especially with American visitors. The added benefit of the World Cup will hopefully improve levels in tourism when it ‘kicks off’ in June.
Author: Mary Stevens