Johannesburg set to be the most popular destination in Africa
The city is expected to welcome 3.6 million international overnight visitors in 2016, a 6.2 percent increase on last year’s 3.39 million visitors. Cairo in Egypt is the second most visited African city with 1.5 million international overnight visitors followed by Cape Town (1.4 million visitors), Casablanca in Morocco (1 million visitors), and Durban (831,000 visitors).
“Tourism remains an important driver of South Africa’s economy, and the steady rise in visitor numbers indicates how the City of Gold’s fascinating mix of iconic attractions is proving ever more compelling to today’s international traveler,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, South Africa, Mastercard. “Visitor spend is an increasingly important source of revenue for the city’s hospitality, retail, transport, sports and cultural sectors.”
The Index provides more than a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It projects visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world. The 13 African cities ranked in the Index are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Cairo, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Dakar, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis.
Of Johannesburg’s expected international overnight visitors, 373,000 will travel from London in 2016. Harare (294,000), Frankfurt (233,000), Maputo (185,000) and Paris (163,000) round out the list of the top five cities that send visitors to Johannesburg. Only 18 percent of Johannesburg’s international visitors are from outside the Middle East and Africa region.
Johannesburg also comes out tops in Africa in terms of international visitor expenditure, with travellers expected to spend $1.73 billion in 2016. Londoners are expected to spend the most ($285 million), followed by visitors from Paris ($155 million), Harare ($106 million), Frankfurt ($84 million), and Maputo ($41 million).
According to the City of Johannesburg, the Index rating affirms Johannesburg’s position as the economic capital and heartbeat of trade and economic activity on the African continent.
“As the strong numbers of visitors from our neighbouring countries shows, Johannesburg is one of the continent’s most important business, cultural and economic hubs. Tourism is a priority industry for us and a pillar of our economic growth strategy for the years ahead,” says City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Herman Mashaba.
“The index confirms Johannesburg’s status as a destination that attracts repeat visits due to its continually evolving tourism offering, from popular shopping destinations such as our malls to a wide range of lifestyle, sporting and business events.”
Cape Town and Durban are ranked number three and eight in terms of expenditure in Africa, with international visitors expected to spend $1 billion and $288 million respectively.
New insights into purpose of travel and local spend
For the first time, the 2016 Index explores whether visitors travel for business or leisure and provides insights into how international visitors spend their time and money. It reveals that more than three quarters (75.6 percent) of total visitors to Johannesburg are travelling for leisure, while just less than a quarter (24.4 percent) are travelling on business.
Shopping is one of South Africa’s key attractions for international tourists, accounting for nearly 44 percent of the money visitors spend in Johannesburg and Cape Town. This is a higher proportion than any other African city and on par with major world shopping destinations such as London (46.7 percent) and Tokyo (43.1 percent).
Visitors to Johannesburg will spend around 14 percent on accommodation and the same amount on food and beverages. A further 10 percent of international visitor expenditure will be spent on local transport, and 11.5 percent on local services.
The world’s top destination cities
Bangkok, the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals, is projected to receive 21.47 million international overnight visitors in 2016, just ahead of second-ranked London, with 19.88 million visitors. Paris (18.03 million), Dubai (15.27 million) and New York (12.75 million) complete the top five.
“The way people travel and spend across borders indicates just how interconnected and important the world’s cities are,” says Elliott. “As the planning and experience of the trip become increasingly important, Mastercard is bringing all these pieces together seamlessly through innovation and connections."
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.