Who Wants to Go to Africa? Hello? Ebola Scare Shrinks Tourism Dollars to a New Low


*It’s no surprise that tourists are bypassing Africa in large numbers, causing the African Tourism agencies to lose millions of dollars since the rise of Ebola, and the deaths that followed, resurfaced in the news.

Where many people used to scramble for any opportunity to go on an African safari, or just be able to say, “I have been to the Motherland,” you probably couldn’t pay anybody to take that opportunity now.

How on earth will the country’s tourism survive the Ebola scare?

According to Yahoo Travel, the business of tour operator Alluring Africa in East and South Africa, had started to rebuild again after a term of sluggish sales. But now, with the Ebola crisis, and the media coverage of it, people are frightened and that build has began to decline again.

“People were traveling again. Things were picking up nicely.” said André Steynberg, Vice President of Sales for Alluring Africa.

Steynberg told Yahoo Travel that the international attention on Ebola in West Africa has no doubt created setbacks for tour companies. “I would predict that 32 U.S. tour operators have lost about 2 million dollars due to cancellations in the past week.” said Styenberg. Due to clients postponing their tours, “[Alluring Africa] has probably lost around $350,000 in the last five days.”

map of Africa

Shanny Hill, a marketing manager for Tour d’Afrique, a small-staffed outlet that does a four-month cycling trip from Cairo to Cape Town is very concerned for the company’s business in the foreseeable future. She says they have a payment deadline coming up in just a few days; and with Ebola all over the international news right now, the company may potentially lose a few hundred thousands dollars.

Hill believe that the media is focusing on the wrong issues, and says there are no Ebola cases in any of the countries they operate in.  She attempts to put a different spin on the fear people may be feeling.

“I like to remind people that there are currently more diagnosed Ebola cases in America than in any of the 10 African countries we travel through,” Hill said.

Read more at Yahoo News Travel.




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