Africa: Family Oriented Safari Growing in Popularity

Ashley Nault - Nov 25, 2013
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According to a report released by the global research firm, Euromonitor International, tourism in Africa is now shifting from the dependency on the traditional markets of US and Europe. There has been a significant increase in the number of tourists coming from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and the Middle East. The report was released in the light of the World Travel Market 2013.

The Euromonitor’s research found out that the strong economic growth in the African Countries especially in the East Africa region is playing a major role in promoting local business tourism. Further, the increase in income as well as urbanization in Africa is also driving the growth in Inter-Africa and domestic travels.

The report also established a developing trend towards family tourism in Africa. Holidays were parents spend their vacation with their children are quite popular especially among the BRIC tourists.

Family-orientated Safari

Ben Morison, the managing director of travel agency Imagine Africa observed that for the past three years, the family bookings had almost doubled. He attributed this to the growing need of people to be more adventurous and the need to spend those experiences with their children and their grandparents.

The trend shows that there is a growing demand for the African hotels as well as travel retailers to provide more multi-generational holiday options to this growing consumer segment yearning to see Africa’s Big Five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo).

The report stated that the increasing number of visitors coming from the BRIC countries will eventually lead to the development of child-friendly safaris. This is due to the fact that most of these visitors travel in large family groups.

According to the Euromonitor’s research, the Chinese visitors in South Africa have become the fourth largest group of tourists in the country. In 2012, the country recorded over 132,000 Chinese visitors. This number is expected to grow to more than 180,000 by 2017.

The number of Indian visitors has also increased with many of the Indians embracing safaris. Many lodges are now offering Indian food as well. The lodges also have kitchens where the Indians can prepare their food.

Main Safari Destinations

According to the report, South Africa remains the main destination for the family oriented safaris. This is because the southern part of the country is free from malaria. Other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania Malawi and Zambia are also coming up with the child-friendly options.

The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranked South Africa on third position in Africa (after Seychelles and Mauritius) in terms of factors affecting the attractiveness of a country’s travel and tourism sector. The country is also ranked at 17th place in the world, and at 58th place in the category of cultural resources.

The report identified Zimbabwe as the second top destination for safari travelers in 2012, followed by Botswana.

Malawi is now ranked as the fifth country in the world for travelers in 2014. This was reported by the server ‘How We Made It in Africa’. The report was extracted from that Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide book publisher in the world. The annual ranking is normally produced as a guide for the top 10 destinations and experiences for the upcoming year.

Malawi made it to the top ten list despite being rated the ninth safari destination in the region by Euromonitor research. This can be attributed to the number of attractions in the country. For example, its Majete Wildlife Reserve offers an uncrowded game drive. Lonely Planet said that the introduction of the lion in the park has made it easy for the visitors to see the big five without major struggles that are evident in most parks in Africa.

The Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 also ranked Cape Town in South Africa as the third top ten city to visit in 2014 while Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe was ranked six out of 10 best regions to visit in 2014.

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