Photography and tourism in Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population of approximately 1.216 billion. In this population, exists people of different tribes, cultural values and beliefs. This diversity in culture makes Africa a good tourist centre for foreigners and tourists. Photography is also an intrinsic quality in the African culture. Photography helps Africans to tell their stories without misconceptions.

Tourism is an important economic sector for most African countries. Although, some African countries benefit more from it than others due to their eye-catching points of interest. Tourists have always been intrigued with the African culture; the people, their beliefs, their mythologies, and everything that encompasses of the African culture.

African tourism is based on a variety of point of interests: diversity, landscapes and landforms, wildlife, as well as her rich cultural heritage. These variations in interest points have made some African countries to be better tourist centres over others.

Africa is divided in three groups in relation to tourism namely:

Countries with developed tourist Industry: These are African countries that do have a successful tourism industry already, such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia. They are the top benefactors from tourism in Africa.

Countries with developing tourism Industry: These African countries are still undergoing current development in their respective tourism industries. They have steady and consistent revenues from tourism, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Countries yet to develop a tourism Industry: These African countries are anticipating to have a tourism industry and want to gain from it. They are yet to gain any economic value from tourism because they don’t have a functioning industry that facilitates tourism. These are countries like Tanzania, Algeria and Burundi.

South Africa is one of the most visited African countries by tourists. The wildlife conservation centre; Safari, is one of the country’s major point of interest. The variation of wildlife such as Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Monkeys and other wildlife has been a significant influence in the country’s tourism industry tourists. In 2016, the nation recorded 3.9 percent increase in international arrivals in Cape Town alone. In 2017, the nation’s travel and tourism have contributed to its economic factor and GDP growth by a staggering 2.5 percent –That is USD 27.3 billion which is equivalent to R402.2 billion and South Africa is just a one case scenario amidst other major touristic countries.

Photography also facilitates the tourism industry in Africa and has been used as a tool for democracy, freedom and equality and cultural expression. It gives tourists of what is to be expected when they visit tourist centres. In early South Africa, photography played a significant role in many countries cultural movement in the form of artistic expression. Photography tells stories about these African countries and their cultures; people, food, attires, traditions, etc. in pictures. Their point of interest is also expressed through photography, landscapes, wildlife, past heroes and heroines, religious beliefs and historical events.

These photographs or artistic drawings are hoisted up in museums in Africa and even in foreign countries. They tell about events that have occurred and the diversity in the African culture. These photographs play good roles in convincing tourists to visit the respective African countries and see the point of interest themselves. Another important point is, these photographs can be shared as free stock photos of Africa, and can be explore by other people to have an insight about the continent.

The tourism and photography industry in Africa has contributed immensely to the economic development of the continent; jobs are being created for the locals to maintain these tourist centres and revenues are being generated when tourists visit. Photography and Tourism go hand in hand. They both facilitate the growth of each other.

Some selected readings

Peffer, J., and Cameron E. (2013.) Portraiture and photography in Africa. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

UNWTO. (2017, July.) UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2017 Edition. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Coustas, W. (2017, September 6.) South African Tourism Facts – Proof that the World loves South Africa. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Tutu, D. (2011, April 3.) Photography and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa History. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Rogerson, C. (2007) “Reviewing Africa in the global tourism economy”, Vol. 24 No. 3 United Nations World Tourism Organization. September 2007.

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This post was written by Suura

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