Africa seeing strong demand for luxury and family holidays, says Atta chief

Africa is seeing a “strong return” in demand for luxury and family holidays, while safari providers are reporting “record numbers”, according to chief executive of the African Travel & Tourism Association (Atta) Jon Danks.

He told Travel Weekly the continent is “bouncing back” from the pandemic, with some countries, such as South Africa, seeing visitor numbers at 85% of 2019 levels.

Atta, which has more than 650 global members, held its annual Experience Africa event in London at the end of last month, bringing together 157 exhibitors and 240 buyers to host 5,800 meetings over three days.

Danks hailed the success of the event, and praised the resilience of the continent which brings “rich tourism to the world”.

“Different countries across the continent are experiencing different bounce rates and for different markets,” he said.

“Across the luxury and family sector, areas of the continent are witnessing a strong return, and the safari experiences to the south and east are recording record numbers.

“Seasonality is also changing with different demands as customers look to explore further afield and take advantage of the rich outdoor experiences that the continent has to offer.”

Danks went on to say sustainability has become a more prominent topic of conversation between holiday providers and buyers, and urged agents to be aware of the growing demand for responsible travel.

“At our events, we’re noticing the narrative around commercial growth is evolving as deeper conversations are taking place around responsible tourism and sustainability.

“That conversation is at the forefront of the agenda when a buyer is sourcing a product in Africa.

“There is still a long way to go, but when comparing with 2018 there is a marked difference in the volume of those types of questions and that’s beginning with the consumer demand and carrying through the supply chain to the hoteliers, ground products, luxury lodges and other providers who for years have been aware of sustainability practices but are now being forced to implement them if they want to stay relevant.

“As new markets open up, we’re encouraging agents to listen to the changing demands of consumers.”

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