East Africa Destination Tourism Trends Insight by Type, Source Markets, Foreign Direct Investment and Future Opportunities, 2024 Update

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East Africa Destination Tourism Report Overview

The total inbound trips to East Africa was 7.9 million in 2022. The East Africa destination tourism market research report provides an in-depth analysis of destination markets and infrastructure developments. The report also offers an in-depth understanding of the East Africa destination tourism market dynamics through SWOT analysis along with sector risk assessment. Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of the types of travelers will help in understanding the propensity of the demand side.

Key Countries ·        Mozambique

·        Kenya

·        Uganda

·        Tanzania

Key Tourism Types ·        Sun and Beach Holidays

·        Visiting Friends or Family

·        City Break Holidays

·        Cultural Holidays

·        Adventure/Sport Holidays

·        Gastronomical Holidays

·        Multi-Stop Trip Holidays

·        Eco Holidays

·        Cruise

·        Wellness/Medical Holidays

·        Religious Holidays

·        Wedding Related Holidays

·        LGBTQIA+

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East Africa Destination Tourism Market Trends

The main purpose of travel to East Africa, in terms of international tourism, is leisure. Between 2015 and 2019, overall international travelers for leisure purposes grew at a CAGR of more than 9%. To become one of the top global destinations and to focus on sustainable destinations, the governments of many nations in East Africa reduced international limitations after COVID-19. Thus, the number of foreign travelers recovered in East Africa in 2022, after a decline in post-pandemic in 2021.

Factors such -as the increase in the number of low-cost carriers operating in the East Africa region to make air travel more affordable and accessible to the masses will drive the market growth in the coming years. The rise in the number of low-cost carriers is attributed to the growing demand for air travel in the region, particularly among the younger generation and the increasing middle class.

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East Africa Destination Tourism Market Segmentation by Countries

Mozambique had the maximum number of inbound trips in 2023

The key countries included in the East Africa destination tourism sector are Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania among others. The Republic of Mozambique has about 2,500 kilometers of Indian Ocean coastline dotted with sandy beaches and clear water. Maputo, the capital and the largest city of Mozambique, has a rich and extensive supply of natural resources, thereby the economy is chiefly based on fishery and agriculture. Thus, the tourism sector of the country has been expanding, making it the largest in the region.

East Africa Destination Tourism Market Analysis by Countries, 2023 (%)

East Africa Destination Tourism Market Analysis by Countries, 2023 (%)

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East Africa Destination Tourism Market Segmentation by Types

Sun and beach holidays were the most preferred holiday type in the East Africa destination tourism market in 2021

A few of the common tourism types in the East Africa tourism market include sun and beach, visiting friends or family (VFR), city break, culture, and adventure/sport, among others. The sun and beach vacation type held the highest market share by the tourism types, followed by VFR and city breaks, in 2021. This sun and beach vacation type has gained popularity because East Africa offers warm beach waters and excellent fishing and diving activities. The region has some of the most scenic beaches in the world that are known for their soft white sands, dense vegetation, and good weather conditions.

East Africa Destination Tourism Market Analysis by Tourism Types, 2021 (%)

East Africa Destination Tourism Market Analysis by Tourism Types, 2021 (%)

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East Africa Destination Tourism SWOT Analysis

East Africa has become the ‘go-to’ destination for wildlife tourism

Travel destinations such as Madagascar, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda have garnered a strong reputation in the wildlife tourism space. However, in order to continue sustainable development, the region has to focus on conservation efforts and ecotourism. This is because the global consumer is becoming more aware of the effects of climate change as well as their carbon footprint. The destination across East Africa needs a collaborative approach across the board with low carbon initiatives from airlines, tourist boards, hospitality, and other tourism companies to continue to thrive in the sector.

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East Africa Destination Tourism Construction Projects Overview

The proposed initiatives for tourism construction projects encompass a wide range of developments. The developments include the establishment of luxurious hotels and resorts, the creation of state-of-the-art airports and convention centers, and the construction of various infrastructures, specifically designed to cater to the needs of the tourism industry.

PR Mozambique, Machipanda Railway Rehabilitation – Manica: This million-dollar project involves the rehabilitation of the 317 km Machipanda railway line between Beira and Machipanda. It includes the construction of railway stations, locomotive sheds, bridges and culverts, signal control rooms, and operating cabins. The project also includes the laying of transmission lines, and railway tracks, and the installation of signaling systems.

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East Africa Destination Tourism – Latest Developments

  • Seychelles Football Federation is undertaking the development of the 2025 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Stadium in Seychelles. This project involves the construction of a beach stadium with a capacity of 4,000 seats.


This report is part of GlobalData’s Destination Market Insights Series. These reports provide an in-depth analysis of a tourist destination and its key source markets, as well as an assessment of the trends and issues in the covered destination market, in this case, East Africa.

The report provides:

  • An analysis of destination markets, infrastructure, and attractions.
  • Overview of risks and opportunities in East Africa
  • Detailed insights into types of travelers that visit the region as well as a SWOT analysis.

Key Highlights

In 2023, international arrivals into the region reached their pre-pandemic level, 12 million travelers. As per GlobalData, the number of international arrivals is anticipated to reach 15.2 million visits in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.09% from 2023 to 2027.

In 2023, many travelers came visited East African destinations for leisure purposes, with 6.42 million travelers or 53.7% of overall international arrivals being for this purpose. This was similar to the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

Kenya experienced a significant increase in pre-pandemic international tourists, with inbound trips increasing from 1.38 million in 2017 to 1.97 million in 2019. Inbound travels have continued to rise despite the initial decline to just 0.56 million in 2020, reaching 2.04 million in 2023.

According to GlobalData Consumer Survey Q4 2022, 31% of respondents said they were extremely concerned with their financial situation, with a further 32% stating they were quite concerned.

Reasons to Buy

  • Get detailed actionable insights on new developments in popular tourist destinations.
  • Explore trends related to international arrivals and spending, tourism segments as well as construction, airlines, and hotel developments.
  • Understand the opportunities in the market, as well as the risks, to make smart business goals.

Four Seasons

Table of Contents


Key Trends

Tourism Construction Projects

Foreign Direct Investment

Growth Source Markets

Types of Tourism

Destination Focus

Regional Risk Index and SWOT Analysis


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