Euromonitor International is back with the top city destinations in the world. The Top 100 City Destinations report shows Asian destinations dominating the list, with over 40 entries. Euromonitor’s research covers overseas visitors, or “arrivals,” who stay longer than 24 hours and less than one year in over 400 cities around the world. Arrivals include people travelling for business, leisure and to visit family or friends, but excludes those in employment or education abroad as well as military personnel, transportation crew, cruise passengers and people displaced by war or natural disasters. Let’s look at Africa’s most popular destinations.
In Africa, the Single African Transport Market Initiative, signed by 23 African Union member states, aims to improve aviation and transport within the region and uplift the tourism industry through shared benefits.
Rank City, Country
- 42 Cairo, Egypt
- 54 Johannesburg, South Africa
- 75 Marrakech, Morocco
- 82 Hurgada, Egypt
Egypt remains Africa’s most popular destination following an active tourism reform strategy. Sharm-el-Sheikh, Hurgada, Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor have all seen strong growth, with the return of visitors from the U.K. and Russia. Additionally, there has been increased emphasis on improving airport infrastructure. The New Cairo International Airport will improve the city’s ability to welcome passengers and connect the city to the Luxor and Red Sea resorts. The new metro station in Cairo is also expected to be the Middle East’s biggest metro station.
With the historic Cairo Palace re-opening in 2019 after restoration and the success of the African Cup of Nations, Cairo is expected to improve its ranking in 2019. Furthermore, with the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020 and a link from Cairo to the Great Pyramids, the city is set to see greater interest from art and culture enthusiasts globally.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg keeps its place among the top 50 cities on account of continued business travel to South
Marrakech is experiencing healthy growth and recovery in tourism arrivals despite the 2011 terrorist attack at Jemaa el Fna. A decline in arrivals from Europe is being compensated by growth from an increasingly diversified number of destinations. Chained hotels are investing heavily in the city which is a key cultural hub in the region. Marrakech attracts leisure tourists first and foremost, with an increased focus by the government on boosting business and MICE tourism which is lagging behind.
Key tourism destinations such as Seychelles remain popular among regional travellers. The Seychelles saw an increase in visitors on account of arrivals from countries with visa free travel and gained wider popularity as a go-to wedding destination. Mauritius has always been popular among leisure visitors for its beaches. However, as the government improves investment on other economic fronts to improve employment and enhance infrastructure, business travel to Mauritius is forecast to grow.