Mastercard advises African cities on tourism schemes

By professo

The Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index (GDCI) ranks 132 cites from across the globe, in relation to visitor spending, and provides insight in the spending habits of travellers.

With this information, GDCI is able to advise locations on the motivations behind their tourists, allowing cities to capitalise off of this knowledge.

There were 13 African cities featured in the list: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos, Casablanca, Cairo, Durban, Accra, Dakar, Entebbe, Tunis, Nairobi, Maputo, and Beira.

As tourism is a catalyst for economic growth in Africa, the continent has been advised to focus on developing smart cities and offering unique experiences in order to diversify the economy.

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GDCI has informed Africa that it should focus on three key things to “build for tomorrow”: infrastructure and transport, building stronger cross sector partnerships, and understanding the relationship between travel and spend.

Bangkok was once again crowned top spot, with international overnight visitor arrivals reaching 19.4mn in 2016. London had 19.06mn visitors.

Both Bangkok and London have been examples of case studies for African cities to adopt.

In regards to the top 20 cities, leisure appears to be the prominent reason for travel. GDCI analysed the spending habits of visitors to conclude that dining, shopping, lodging, and transport were the key contributors to the location’s income.

African cities are told to offer all that the continent has to offer, whilst maintaining a sense of uniqueness – to be “cities that know what they are about, and what they represent”.

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