- Chidozie Uzoezie
Senegal: Emerging African Tourism Giant on The Rise
As the potential for tourism investment in under-exploited Francophone Africa becomes ever-clearer, Senegal has been highlighted as an emerging economy that’s ripe for further development.
The country still faces challenges, but the government wants to put Senegal in the top five African tourist destinations with three million visitors a year by 2023.
A detailed analysis comes from Horwath HTL, a global leader in hotel, tourism and leisure consulting, ahead of the new Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA) in Marrakesh in February 2019.
The conference, organised by Bench Events as a sister event to the long-established Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), will focus on the markets of north and west Africa.
During the conference, Philippe Doizelet, Horwath HTL’s Managing Partner, Hotels, based in Paris, will be sharing his expertise, gained from 300 development studies both in France and internationally. His verdict on Senegal is: “We’re of the opinion that Senegal has potential for diverse hotel development in the mid-term.”
As one of the best-performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal’s growth is expected to stay at around seven per cent, sustained by agriculture and industry, including mining exports.
Future hotel demand is expected to come from both the business and leisure sectors against a background of positive factors, including:
Senegal’s regional position as a major economic hub, backed by a stable democratic political system
Improved air access thanks to a new airport Diass/Diamniadio
The discovery of natural gas in the north of the country
Government support for the tourism sector with infrastructure plans
A pipeline of internationally branded hotels
Improving hotel performances in Dakar
However, there are some challenges as well: on-going neighbouring conflicts; low-standards of services outside the capital, and the high cost of reaching Senegal compared to other seaside destinations in the region.
All this will be explored in more detail at FIHA, aimed at helping countries to develop their economies and support hospitality investment.