The deep friendship forged between China and African countries, especially with the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), has led to an increasing number of Chinese visiting Africa this year.
Travel packages to African countries, such as visits to South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, were labelled as popular on the websites of several online travel agencies, including ctrip.com, qunar.com and lvmama.com. Most of the packages go for 10,000 to 15,000 yuan per person for a 10-day trip.
The number of Chinese tourists who book trips to Africa through lvmama.com has doubled from January to August 2018 compared with the same period last year. Among them, 80 per cent are young and middle-aged people, according to a press release lvmama.com sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
The untouched and natural ecology, ancient culture and wild animals of Africa have attracted Chinese tourists, mostly from big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing.
The five most popular tourist destinations for Chinese are Mauritius, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia. Ivmama.com said Mauritius, an island country in the Indian Ocean, tops the list because of convenient direct flights, a visa-free policy and relatively cheap costs.
“Group tours to South Africa have been one of our popular products since summer, and only six seats remain in a tour group of 30 to South Africa for the end of the month,” a ctrip.com salesperson told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.
Travel agencies said the deep friendship between China and African countries has boosted tourism this year. Chinese leaders visited South Africa and attended the BRICS summit in July, and less than two months later, the FOCAC was successfully held in Beijing.
“With the continued friendship, China’s outbound tourism to Africa will witness a golden era,” said Lvmama.
A Beijing resident surnamed Zhao who plans to visit South Africa early next year said that African countries have to tighten up on their security measures, as he was told by friends in Africa that foreign tourists would often be robbed.
TunisianMonitorOnline (ecns Travel News)