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Ethiopia: Ethiopia Overtakes Dubai as Air Passengers' Gateway to Africa

press release

The extraordinary rise of Ethiopia as a destination and a transfer hub for long-haul happen to be Sub-Saharan Africa has been revealed in the most recent findings from ForwardKeys which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million flight booking transactions each day.

The data implies that Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital) is continuing to grow its level of international transfer passengers to Sub-Saharan Africa, five years in a row (2013-17).
It highlights that Addis Ababa&rsquo also;s Bole airport, that is being upgraded with a fresh terminal currently, at the expense of $345m, has Dubai because the leading gateway to the spot overtaken, predicated on this measure.

The findings were released by ForwardKeys throughout a presentation by Olivier Ponti, Vice-President, Insights, at the global world Travel and Tourism Council’s Africa Leaders Forum in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

At least a few of Ethiopia’s upsurge in international flight bookings has been related to new-found confidence in the wake of reforms completed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he took office in April. In July included in these are signing a peace cope with Eritrea, in June a fresh e-visa policy introduced, that allows all international people to obtain a visa online and a promise to open Ethiopia’s markets to private investment.

International bookings for Ethiopia, this November to January next year for the time from, are ahead by a lot more than 40% on a single period in 2017 – well of most other destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa ahead.


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Whilst people to Ethiopia and the others of Sub-Saharan Africa are via around the world, Europe dominates as a source market, in line with the ForwardKeys findings; it is continuing to grow by 4% because the start of year. In comparison, growth in visitors from the Asia Pacific region is sluggish, just up by 1% because the start of year.

ForwardKeys highlights that certain of the major opportunities for destinations in your community would be to relax visa regimes for international travellers. A good example is given for the Chinese market, that is now the strongest in the global world by amounts of people and by expenditure. In accordance with ForwardKeys data, liberalised visa policies had a transformative influence on Chinese tourism to Tunisia and Morocco recently, lifting visitor numbers dramatically.

For South Africa, year &ndash 2018 was a challenging; a water crisis, and the national carrier facing a hard business period. But seat capacity is showing encouraging signs, ready for a fresh influx of visitors.

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, said: “Sub-Saharan Africa is really a market of opportunity. Over the region, carriers are increasing seat capacity on international flights by six percent typically; that’s an encouraging sign. If more governments follow the go-ahead example set by Ethiopia, including reducing conflict and benefiting from the benefits that may flow from more stimulating visa policies, I’d expect to visit a healthy growth in tourism in 2019.”


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