Africa Tourism Up, New Hotels Open

Africa: Rising Tourist Destination

See details on how to win a five-star luxury vacation for two to Cape Town, South Africa, below!

Africa is stepping into the spotlight as an emerging favorite of international travelers. Tourists increasingly fly to a variety of Africa nations in vast numbers, sometimes as the expense of old favorites like Europe.

According to the Reuters news agency, international arrivals in Africa were up 6% last year for a total of 49 million visitors – twice the growth rate for Europe. The figures for 2009 are even more impressive: Africa was the only region in the world that saw tourism growth.

African countries are luring sightseers with everything from safaris, ancient monuments, big city life and eco-tours. Among the most popular destinations is South Africa; it welcomed more than eight million international visitors alone last year.

New Hotels in Africa

This impressive growth hasn’t been lost on the hotel industry. A number of large chains opened new locations and have plans for more – especially in the high-end market. The end goal? To take advantage not only of the surge in tourism but Africa’s quickly-emerging middle class.

The challenges of expansion due to “infrastructure constraints and regulatory hurdles” cannot be ignored, but multi-national firms like the Rezidor Hotel Group (Radisson Blu) have already added 33 hotels in past two years with another eight expected to open in the next 12 months. Rezidor also has plans for a new upscale lodge in the South Africa’s Kruger National Park, at a cost of about $40 million; it’s expected to open for business sometime in 2013.

The Intercontinental Hotel Group, meanwhile, has plans for the other side of the country; it is currently looking for new hotel opportunities in Cape Town, and with good reason.

Focus on Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is already an entrenched tourist favorite and getting more and more popular thanks to a wide range of attractions including towering Table Mountain, excellent vineyards, beaches dotted with playful penguins and sophisticated dining and shopping venues.

FareCompare guest blogger Ben Reed, a travel expert who’s been to Cape Town numerous times, has a list of the Top Five Cape Town Attractions for the First-Time Visitor. Ben also talks about his amazing experience in a shark cage off the waters of Cape Town, and shares information on what tourists need to know about passports, packing and more.

See the new FareCompare Travel Guide for Cape Town, South Africa

Win a Luxury Trip to Cape Town, South Africa

If Cape Town sounds like the trip of your dreams, an exotic location with the comforts of home, enter the FareCompare contest to win a luxurious five-star vacation for two, including airfare and amazing accommodations. It’s easy, it’s fun, and you could win the vacation of a lifetime.

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Published: August 22, 2011