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IIn all of the world’s emerging economies, tourism is one of the primary industries driving growth and job creation. The tourism industry continues to play an increasingly important role in the global economy, contributing 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), 30 percent of service exports, and 235 million jobs. Approximately 1-billion people travel internationally every year.

Although tourism in Africa is still at an early stage of development and advancement – many areas need to be improved to attract and accelerate tourism development - the travel and tourism sector in Africa is fast growing than merchandise exports on the continent. In 2018, UNWTO reported that the international tourist arrivals on the whole continent increased by nearly 36-million between 2000 and 2017.

A final frontier destination with growing appeal for global travelers seeking adventure, in-and personalized travel, Africa is an economic opportunity and development catalyst with luxury offering for visitors ever increasing. The luxury market is well-established in parts of East Africa and South Africa, but the industry can establish itself far more in many other areas on the continent. But what is luxury?

Luxury refers to all that can be obtained that is differentiated, unique and exclusive. It does not respond to demand nor satisfy the desires of a crowd. Luxury is a product or service that is offered to all, but not all can reach. In tourism, rather than only price, luxury also puts the emphasis on value and the experience for the traveler.

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, Luxury Travel Market - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022, the global luxury travel market is expected to generate $1,154 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% during 2016-2022. 

High spending power and search for exclusivity are the major factors that promote the demand for luxury travel. Tour operators and travel agencies the world over have come up in numbers exclusively to serve this luxury-oriented sector and continue to grow.

With millennials, valuing ​​the unique and exclusive travel experiences and for whom technology plays an important role for communicating it to the world, the luxury offering is also being redefined across the globe. This shift is key for all tourism sectors across the globe to take note. Because of their affluence and aspirational outlook, millennials are fast becoming the travel market of today’s world.

Africa is already known for its adventure travel - safari, horse trails and cycling adventures, among other things - but there is wide gap for luxurious experiences to lead.

And so it is only fitting, for one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019 will be featuring some of the most extravagant travel escapes at the Lap of Luxury Pavilion for those who are privileged.

All participant’s at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba Lap of Luxury Pavilion are valued for their quality service, experience, innovation and [heritage]. In 2019, we want to show that Africa, especially South Africa is a destination well positioned in the minds of foreign tourists seeking exclusivity, luxury and unique experiences,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, South African National Conventions Bureau (SANCB) Chief Convention Bureau Officer.

Over the years, the continent has opened up itself to a new type of tourism and travel field for global visitors where the exclusive and unique, unexplored and unspoiled experiences - where not everyone can get to, away from the masses and with ability to share unique, cultured experiences. There are different opinions of luxury, beyond luxury travel in Africa that is still very focused on wildlife and wilderness. The time is now to rise up this offering.

In UNWTO’s 2017 report, reported in 2018, analysts predicted that the majority of international travelers, an estimated 57 percent, will prefer emerging and developing countries as their destination of choice by 2030, especially driven by the growth in the adventure and nature tourism subsectors.

In the future, growth in Africa’s tourism industry will primarily be driven by two factors: globalization and infrastructure. While as a continent, we travel the journey to improve these factors, there is plenty for the world to come and enjoy in Africa, and luxury is just another product the continent is ready to showcase. It is without a doubt that the travel and tourism sector will only keeping rising in Africa to be the destination of the 21st century.

Luxury travel offers a poetic experience for visitors on the continent. Be sure to visit the Lap of Luxury Pavilion during 2-4 May 2019 at the Durban ICC in Hall 6 globally competitive luxury travel offering in South Africa.

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