Welcome to the first issue of Africa Tourism Monitor, a joint publication of the African Development Bank (AfDB), New York University Africa House and the Africa Travel Association (ATA). This report is inspired by the first two issues of State of Tourism to Africa, which were prepared with our partners at the World Bank, who have also contributed content to this report.

This report presents some of the major opportunities and challenges facing the diversification of the travel and tourism industry in Africa – from generating revenue and creating jobs to attracting new travel and tourism markets; developing niche tourism products to sustaining hotel and airline growth; to leveraging social media to utilizing on-line travel engines.

The facts, figures, commentaries and case studies in this issue show how much global potential Africa has with regards to tourism. Travel and tourism stakeholders across Africa and around the world are taking an innovative approach to growing and sustaining the industry.

We would like to thank all of our partners who contributed to this issue. We look forward to continuing to work with you as we aim to make a clear and compelling case for investment and spending in Africa’s tourism sector and, in turn, ensuring that Africa is both benefiting from and participating in one of the world’s fastest growing and changing sectors.

Africa Tourism Data Portal

The African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with New York University (NYU) Africa House has developed the Tourism Data for Africa Portal in order to provide access to Tourism related data on African countries.

The portal is part of the AfDB’s “Africa Information Highway” initiative aimed at improving data collection, management, and dissemination in Africa. It will allow open access to the data needed for managing and monitoring development results in African countries, including tracking progress on the MDGs. The portal is a direct response to a number of important global and regional initiatives to scale up the availability of quality data on Africa and so foster evidence-based decision-making, public accountability, and good governance.

The Africa Tourism Data Portal is a user-friendly tool for extracting data, creating, and sharing customized reports, and visualizing tourism related data through tables, charts, and maps. Through the portal, users will be able to access a wide range of tourism related data on African countries, consolidated from multiple international and national official sources. The portal will also facilitate the collection, analysis, and sharing of data among countries and with international development partners.

This initiative therefore offers a unique opportunity for policymakers, analysts, researchers, business leaders and investors around the world to gain access to reliable and timely data on Africa. Users can visualize time series development indicators, perform comprehensive analysis at country and regional levels, utilize presentation-ready graphics or create their own visuals, blog, share their views and work with others, thereby creating an informed community of users.