International Tourism accounts for 1.4 percent of East Africa’s GDP

Sep 27, 2020 | Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

COVID-19 has all but wiped out international tourism revenues in East Africa, along with employment of millions.

International Tourism Expenditures accounts for 1.4 percent of East Africa’s GDP

East Africa consists of 17 countries which include major growth markets such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. East Africa’s population is currently 445.4 million and set to increase by 25 percent over the next 10 years to reach 558.5 million by 2030.

 Tourism Revenue

East Africa generates more than $5 billion from international travellers during 2018 and almost $6 billion in 2019. Tourism is a significant contributor to all East African nations GDP, foreign currency earnings as well as a major employer. With wildlife, natural beauty and unspoiled beaches, East Africa has lots to offer the international traveller.  Tourism features high on all these countries development goals. Although hard hit during the pandemic with global lockdowns bringing the industry to an absolute standstill, many countries are eager to get this sector active again as soon as vaccines and treatments are available. During September a number of these markets opened their borders for international travellers to return.  Only a partial recovery is expected during Q4 2020.


International tourism expenditures – Source: World Bank (2018)

Burundi $23.0 million
Djibouti $22.3 million
Ethiopia $612.7 million
Kenya $262.0 million
Madagascar $309.0 million
Malawi $136.0 million
Mauritius $723.0 million
Mozambique $135.0 million
Rwanda $377.0 million
Seychelles $102.0 million
South Sudan $513.0 million
Tanzania $818.0 million
Uganda $334.0 million
Zambia $478.0 million
Zimbabwe $338.0 million
Total $5,183.0 billion


Still have questions?

Our team is ready to help.

Get access to trusted and valuable data to inform your business decisions and open opportunities for growth.