Following the investment of US$150 million in the modernisation and expansion of Lomé-Tokoin International Airport, the number of air arrivals in Togo increased dramatically in 2013. It is anticipated that the airport will now be able to receive up to four times more passengers each year. Having recognised the potential for growth in Togo’s travel and tourism industry and in light of the upgrade of the airport, airlines are now likely to offer more services into Togo. Recently, ASKY Airlines introduced a new Lomé-Bissau route and announced new plans to connect Togo with destinations in Europe.
While there are some deficiencies in terms of the country’s inadequate road infrastructure and the lack of high quality accommodation, Togo is a treasure trove of ecological diversity and offers huge biodiversity in its protected natural habitats. These natural wonders attract visitors from far and wide and the country’s larger cities represent ideal gateways for those wishing to visit its natural delights. The wildlife, diversity of landscape, stunning beaches and pleasant climate are all favourable for travel and tourism. Large numbers of visitors to Togo now seek to experience the country’s nature first-hand, enjoy extreme sports and seek out new adventures. In addition, the Togo Tourism & Development Foundation helps local communities to develop new strategies to attract more tourists, offering interaction with nature, adventure sports and the chance to explore.
In light of Togo’s economic recovery and the increasing numbers of arrivals, there are concerns over the potential shortage of high-quality travel accommodation in the country. Due to the high growth potential and the reduced competition in the country, Groupe Onomo and the Grupo Prefaco intend to maintain investment projects within the country. These new hotels aim to provide superior quality services to meet demand, which has recently been a very positive factor boosting demand for travel and tourism in Togo.
Togo is a country which is rich in natural resources, including oil and phosphate. This offers potentially lucrative investment opportunities to international companies from more developed nations. Business travellers who are drawn to Togo by its oil reserves also have the opportunity to explore previously unknown resources. Because of this, ENI recently announced its interest in increasing investment in Togo.
The lack of security remains a major threat to the development of travel and tourism in Togo. Despite overall positive advances in this area in recent years, high levels of unemployment and the country’s poorly equipped police force mean that criminality is rife in major cities such as Lomé. Foreign tourists are generally advised not to leave main cities, although if they remain within the cities, they lose the opportunity to experience the outstanding natural and cultural diversity which Togo has to offer. Such issues relating to personal security unfortunately place limits on the potential growth of Togo’s travel and tourism industry.
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