Many emerging tourism destinations in Africa have identified surfing as a target market, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report (2014), in association with Euromonitor International.
South Africa has an established reputation with the international surfing community but other countries are gaining a foothold. Sierra Leone hosted a week-long competition and festival this September while Ghana will host the Africa Surf Series next year.
Some specialist tour operators are already active in the region – the report reveals. Family surfing holidays in Madagascar, Zanzibar and Mozambique are available from South African tour operator All Aboard Travel, while UK-based Errant Surf includes Morocco, Ghana, South Africa and Mozambique among its surf adventures itineraries.
Other countries with potential include Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde and Senegal.
The International Surfing Association has made expansion of the sport on the continent a major priority, aiming to stimulate and develop local economies by increasing tourism and creating new jobs.
Estimates suggest that some 35 million across the world are regular surfers. Traditionally more popular in the Americas, Europe and Australasia, surfing is also growing in popularity across African countries, benefitting intra-regional and domestic travel.The WTM Global Trends Report 2014 suggests that “combining a surf holiday with traditional African tourist attractions such as safaris is an effective way for travel retailers to attract older surfers who are prepared to spend more”.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Surfers are adventurous travellers and Africa offers them a vast coastline with undiscovered and uncrowded beaches.”