The Impact of Tourism on Economic Growth and Development in Africa
Over the decade of the 1990s, Africa has experienced a rise in tourist arrivals from 8.4 million to 10.6 million and receipts growth from $2.3 billion to $3.7 billion, respectively. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO, 2006), the tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed a robust annual market share growth rate of 10 percent in 2006. In spite of this, there are only few empirical studies that investigate the contributions of tourism to economic growth and development for African economies. Using a panel data of 42 African countries for the years that span from 1995 to 2004, this study explores the potential contribution of tourism to economic growth and development within the conventional neoclassical framework. The results show that receipts from the tourism industry significantly contribute both to the current level of gross domestic product and the economic growth of Sub-Saharan African countries as do investments in physical and human capital. Our findings imply that African economies could enhance their short-run economic growth by strategically strengthening their tourism industries.
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