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By 2030, the world’s demographic and economic landscape will change drastically with an extra billion people on the planet, according to the United Nations. What makes this figure even more staggering is that despite all of the focus China receives, it is in fact Africa that is expected to see the greatest population change out of all the regions in the world before 2030.

Africa is one of the few regions in the world where the population is expected to keep increasing throughout the 21st century, while fertility rates decline in many other parts of the globe. (European numbers are forecast to shrink by 14% in 2050). By the end of the century, the UN predicts that 40% of all humans will be African.

The result is that there will be far more African travellers than we have seen over the last decade. By 2030, eight of the ten fastest-growing air passenger markets in percentage terms will be in Africa, with an extra 177 million passengers a year, predicts the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Coming in at the top four spots are Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania and Burundi.

All of this points to an unprecedented shift in terms of the travel landscape – and with it, tremendous opportunity as many first-time African tourists with a hunger to explore the world come knocking on travel agents’ doors.

Travellers will come from a far wider spread of nations, some of which, but one generation ago, may never have left their town or village. While their requirements cannot be fully anticipated, it will be the travel businesses who can adapt, evolve and innovate in tune with the changing landscape that are most likely to thrive.

The Traveller Tribes we’ve identified, from Simplicity Searchers to Cultural Purists, will need to be understood and their behaviours catered to in order to find success in this exciting time of transformation.

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