By Zandre Campos, ABO Capital
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Africa and it’s one of Angola’s best kept secrets. The country has more than 1,000 miles of beach coastline, national parks and Portugal-style architecture, which all make Angola a contender as a destination for leisure and business travel and also as a hub for tourism investment opportunities. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism directly supported 110,500 jobs in Angola in 2017, with the expectation of continued growth to 147,000 direct jobs in 2028. With growing support from allies, infrastructure improvements, and the right promotional support, Angola has the opportunity to become a leader in the tourism space domestically and globally.
Just recently, the World Tourism Forum announced it would invest $1 billion U.S. dollars in Angola’s tourism sector. The news comes after a series of cooperation agreements that will contribute to the sector’s growth, such as Angola’s recent partnerships with Uruguay and Portugal. While the country is fortunate to have natural attractions that set it apart from other destinations on the continent and in the world, one of the areas in which we will likely see more spending is infrastructure. Ângela Bragança, Minister of Hotel and Tourism, said this is key to developing the Angolan tourism sector. There is a need for new airports, more international flights and better roads that can attract more visitors. Once we start to see an improvement on the transportation and infrastructure side, Angola tourism will undoubtedly continue to grow quickly and have a major impact on the country’s diversification strategy.
One of the challenges Angola has when it comes to tourism is promotion, but there is already so much to see and discover. The little known fact is that there is something for everyone. There are beautiful beaches in Luanda and Benguela, rainforests and safaris, hiking trails, cafés, and a great nightlife in the country’s capital of Luanda. Some of the biggest investment opportunities that exist in Angola are hotels, food and beverage, and transportation. The World Travel & Tourism council reported that leisure travel spending is expected to increase through 2028. That, combined with a favorable projection for job creation across hotels, travel companies, airlines, and other transportation services, is an important indicator that these are opportunities for investment, and now is the time to capitalize. Additionally, Angola needs to invest in its promotion strategy in Africa and abroad to attract even more potential tourists and business travelers. A good place to start would be neighboring countries and allies, such as South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Rwanda, and beyond, including the United Arab Emirates, Lufthansa, France and Brussels, to showcase the growth and potential of our country as a whole.
Angola is not far from being a major tourism destination. Its culture and beauty will soon be widely recognized as a gem and an adventure for travelers and investors alike. With just a nudge on the infrastructure and promotion side, we will start to see an even bigger boom from this sector which will surely result in prosperity for the people and businesses of Angola.
Zandre Campos is chairman and CEO of ABO Capital, an international investment firm that invests in companies in the healthcare, energy, transportation, hospitality, education, technology and real estate sectors throughout Africa. ABO’s mission is to create global value for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development.