Globally, the tourism industry is now an important economic sector generating over US$ 1.2 trillion in 2011, accounting for 5% of the global GDP and 6-7% of the total world-wide employment currently estimated at 251 million. Though growing at a high rate, at 5.1% and 3.2% in terms of tourist arrivals and receipts respectively, Africa’s share of the global tourism industry is still small, yet the continent harbours immense potential. The AU/NEPAD Tourism Action Plan for Africa and AU Action Plan for Africa 2010-2015 uphold this potential and further recognise the important role the industry can play in realising the economic and sustainable development goals of the continent, a perspective also shared by many African countries. The majority of countries in Africa, nonetheless, face a number of challenges that impede efforts towards developing competitive destinations.

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