Today, only about 22 percent of visitors to Mauritius come from Africa. But with a growing middle class on the continent, Mauritius tourism officials say they want to attract more African visitors, including new ones from Nigeria.
It turns out more Americans than ever flew to Europe and Mexico last year despite security fears.
Whether hospitality or booking, Africa presents an enormous opportunity for first-movers right now.
Several African economies like Nigeria and Mozambique are among the fastest growing in the world but that is hardly related to its potential for increased tourist arrivals, as Carlson Rezidor's CEO argues. Given recent terror attacks in Europe and Asia and backlash from last year's Ebola outbreak, the mostly unknown continent is sadly being lumped into the danger category even if many of its destinations are safe and ready for tourists.
Governments run a big part of the show with the Gulf carriers and they're doing just fine. FastJet's problem lies in the fact that its ambitions are too far ahead of the smaller Sub-Saharan African governments who simply aren't ready for mass tourism's arrival.
How does a travel startup succeed in Zimbabwe and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa? Focus on a neglected space in a huge market. Whether startup Africabookings can make it as a business remains to be seen. The market opportunity, though, is certainly humongous.
It'll take more than a hashtag to get small-minded travelers comfortable with taking a trip to the African continent. Still, hats off to Brussels Airlines for trying to raise awareness of an issue that isn't being widely discussed.
Mugabe is nothing if not a survivor, and his focus on countries that don't know enough about his corrupt regime to stay away is a smart one.
Fastjet is bringing the low cost carrier model to Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. It's been tough-going so far, but this venture is being keenly watched to see if it can generate enough demand to be successful.
Africa is set to become the next Asia with a developing tourism economy that is sure to attract more visitors and businesses in coming years. Marriott has positioned itself as an early mover and will likely continue its expansion from here.