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Africa to become the surfing capital of the world

According to the WTM Global Trends Report 2014 in association with Euromonitor International, many emerging tourism destinations in Africa have identified surfing as a target market, released World Travel Market on Monday.

Estimates suggest that some 35 million people across the world are regular surfers. Traditionally more popular in the Americas, Europe and Australasia, surfing is also growing in popularity across African countries, benefiting intra-regional and domestic travel.

The WTM Global Trends Report 2014 also suggests that packaging holidays with multiple activities and accommodation offerings will also be a very effective ways to attract older surfers who are prepared to spend more.

South Africa has an established reputation with the international surfing community but other countries are gaining a foothold. Sierra Leone hosted a week-long competition and festival this September while Ghana will host the Africa Surf Series next year. Says Ugu South Coast Tourism CEO Mr Justin Mackrory ` We are sitting on a goldmine of opportunity here, offering some of South Africa’s top surfing spots here on the South Coast. It’s time to make optimum use of these natural hot spots’.

Some specialist tour operators are already active offering family surfing holidays throughout Africa – countries such as Zanzibar and Mozambique are already packaged by some of the leading tour operators.

The International Surfing Association has made expansion of the sport on the continent a major priority, aiming to stimulate and develop local economies by increasing tourism and creating new jobs.

“If surf tourism is developed in a sustainable fashion, it can lead to improvements in health care, education, job opportunities and infrastructure,” said the association's Africa adviser Sean Brody. "Additionally, the sport of surfing acts as a catalyst for peacekeeping, since the youth have a positive activity to focus on.”

Source: Tourism Update 4th November 2014.


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