Why Lagos is the most visited city in SSA. The business opportunities and the economic hub in Lagos state, a commercial capital in Nigeria is why it was ranked the most visited city in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2017, according to analysts.
According to the 2018 Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index report, Lagos is the top spot in the SSA with roughly 1.5 million international overnight visitors generating $589 million.
Ayodeji Ebo, MD, Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “Lagos state remains the business and economic hub of Nigeria, hence the high number of international visitors. In addition, the state is relatively safe relative to other states. As a result of this it has contributed significantly to the success of hotel services in Lagos.”
Ebo further said, “More improvement on the road network and introduction of a fast train to connect major cities will further boost the economic activities as Lagos state accounts for over 40 percent of the total internally generated revenue of the states in Nigeria.”
The report which offers an important analysis of travel to and within major cities around the globe said that visitors tend to stay in Lagos for seven nights and spend only $57 per day, on average, considerably less than its SSA counterparts and visitors to Lagos, are most often from the USA, United Kingdom and China.
“The international overnight visitors are short visits made by business people. Lagos state serves as the major aviation hub in Nigeria and also they are people from neighbouring West African countries like Togo, Benin Republic etc. that transit through Nigeria in some instances,” Johnson Chukwu, CEO, Cowry Asset Management Limited said.
“It serves as a transit route for other business visitors in the country. And again the oil and gas industry has literally moved their businesses and offices to Lagos which are the recipient of most of the international visitors,” Chukwu further said.
In 2016, Lagos had a total of 1.04 million overnight international visitors which generated $ 0.4 billion in revenue.
Ayo Akinwunmi, Head of Research, FSDH Merchant Bank said that the business opportunities taking place in Lagos attracts a lot of international visitors.
The rest of the top visited cities in SSA after Lagos was Dakar in Senegal, Kampala in Uganda, Nairobi in Kenya and Accra which had 0.8 million, 0.5 million, 0.4 million and 0.4 million respectively.
The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranked 162 cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities in 2017 and gives international overnight visitor growth forecasts for 2018.
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