From ADEWALE SANYAOLU, in London
A report released in London, yesterday, by Euromonitor International and Reed Exhibitions Limited, organizers of the World Travel Market (WTM), has predicated a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in Africa, as a result of the boom in the local film industry dubbed ‘Nollywood’. The GDP growth figure for the African region was contained in a report, titled: “WTM Global Trends Report 2012’.
The report explained that Nigeria’s massive film industry, ‘Nollywood’, is a rising star in Africa’s tourism industry, just as it declared it the world’s second largest film industry in volume terms, after India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood in the US, with more than 2,000 films produced annually. Specifically, the report predicated GDP growth in Africa to be at 5.2 percent in 2012 and 2013, while trips/arrivals will rise to 4.5 percent in 2012 and 4.6 percent in 2013, adding that intra-regional travels is crucial for the African Tourism industry, due to strong business, linguistic and cultural links between many countries.
Besides, the report indicated that Nollywood films are popular in many African countries because their huge popularity attracts domestic and regional African tourists to Nigeria, visiting film locations. Also, the report noted that the popularity of Nollywood would be a major growth driver with the leisure sector attracting film fans and business travel boosted by the growing economic importance of the film industry.
“Arrivals to Nigeria are set to rise three percent annually, over 2012-2016, mainly thanks to intra-regional tourism fuelled by growing African economies. It means Africa is poised for continued strong growth arrivals, incoming tourist receipts, air and hotel values sales in 2013,the report said.”
Reacting to the report, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Segun Runsewe,s aid the reports showed that President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, especially in the travel and tourism sector is making impact on the country’s image globally.