Angola has historically been a country that is extremely reliant on the oil industry and oil transactions, which have supported the evolution of the country’s economy over the last decade. Nonetheless, the downturn in oil prices has led to many difficulties for the national economy, with Angola having to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help. With the oil industry facing difficulties, travel and tourism has emerged as an interesting and profitable alternative for generating income.
Despite the online channel still only having a minor presence in the travel industry when compared to the offline channel, it nevertheless saw dynamic growth over the review period. The current dynamics which the country is witnessing with the investments of international chains, especially in accommodation and airlines, has been geared towards the development of online transactions. As Angolan society becomes more educated, the online channel should evolve.
Lodging and airlines were two of the most dynamic categories operating in the Angolan travel industry in 2015. As both inbound as well as domestic flows increased, both national as well as international entrepreneurs have been attracted to invest in this category, with new and modern infrastructure emerging. In parallel, at the end of 2014 the local airlines industry was impacted by changes. TAAG, the country’s most recognised airline company, failed to be profitable and a restructuring process was performed. This company is now managed by Emirates, an airline company which is also investing in the country.
According to the national tourism body, domestic tourism has high potential for development and deserves the creation of conditions which could help it find success and fuel the growth of the country’s travel industry. In line with this, in 2015 Infotur decided to create the “Tourist Card”. This is a very simple initiative in which domestic tourists are enabled to enjoy exclusive discounts in lodging, transportation and with other partners. Similar initiates are already being equated for inbound tourists
Several international airlines have been demanding new airport infrastructure and it seems that the Angolan government has decided to heed their calls. A new modern airport project for the capital, Luanda, has been developed and it is likely to be fully operational in 2017. This dynamic is foreseen to be contagious in other categories and should lead to further investment in the overall travel industry over the forecast period.
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