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To Rise or not: Prospective Africas Outbound Tourism Business Trajectory and Mega Sports Events: A Case of Qatar 2022 World Cup | OMICS International
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Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review
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To Rise or not: Prospective Africas Outbound Tourism Business Trajectory and Mega Sports Events: A Case of Qatar 2022 World Cup

Emmanuel Sebata*

Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda

*Corresponding Author:
Emmanuel Sebata
Kyambogo University, Kampala
Tel: 0414 - 285 037
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date January 14, 2016; Accepted Date January 27, 2016; Published Date February 03, 2016

Citation:Sebata E (2016) To Rise or not: Prospective Africa’s Outbound Tourism Business Trajectory and Mega Sports Events: A Case of Qatar 2022 World Cup. Arabian J Bus Manag Review 6:196. 

Copyright: © 2016 Sebata E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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The FIFA World Cup is the major sporting event in the world. It is also the most prestigious mega-sports event since it has over the years been assumed to be a highly profitable and a crowd pulling venture. The event has thus shaken the tourism trends of all the participating nations. By comparing and analyzing the general impact on outbound tourism of previous sporting events including major World cup games; this article will qualitatively reveals Africa as a new market for outbound tourists for major sporting events; this study sampled 2022 Qatar World Cup and provides conclusions on how Africa’s outbound tourism business will be impacted in the long run. Based on the suggestions provided in this paper, future studies should be more oriented on the qualitative studies to establish the exact degree of this effect.


Qatar; World Cup; Outbound Tourism; Business Trail; Africa


Background and Literature

Africa is gradually improving its economic strength, paving way for the small out bound travel market to grow well in the coming years as more people have sufficient income to travel abroad (World Travel Trends Report, 2013/2014).

In the past few years, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have secured rights to host the major international sporting events [1]; not only are these countries that have massively benefits from the tourism trends as results of hosting these events, even the rest of the participating nation from Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa have also had their tourism business shaken in both the long and short runs. The 2022 World Cup to be hosted in Qatar is expected to boost tourism business up not only in the Arabian state but also in many top African economies.

Since sport has always been an important part of society and with the global emergence of sports tourism, it has also become an increasingly important part of the economy. Consequently, the measurement and evaluation of benefits and costs (economic impact) of sporting events to host destinations and communities have become a focus of increasing interest to a number of groups, including policy makers and sporting officials. Based on the proven economic benefits and impact that sport has delivered to a number of countries, governments worldwide have become increasingly supportive of further investment in and funding of sport.

In 2022, Qatar will be the first Arab state that will host the World Cup and the event is expected not only to boost its economy mainly through leaving an everlasting impact on the country’s Tourism drifts. Once countries host global events such as the FIFA World Cup, Olympics Games, the assumption is often that the exposure and the tourism will massively boost a country’s profile, hospitality industry and economy. However, research has also stated that many countries from which tourists originate also often obtain a boost on their tourism business facts.

In 2014, the World Cup edition hosted in different cities of Brazil received approximately 3.7 million tourists; both domestic and international and these spent over 6.7 Brazilian Real during the month of the games [2].

In 2010, a total of 309,554 foreign tourists arrived in South Africa for the primary purpose of attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Africa land markets accounted for 32% of total foreign tourists, followed by Europe with 24% and Central and South America with 13%. The total expenditure in South Africa by tourists who came specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was R3.64bn

The number of foreign visitors to South Africa was roughly 309,554 people [3], majority of them originated from African countries and these travelled mainly by land and others by air to attend the different world cup events hosted by the different cities in the country. This demonstrated a big boost in the tourism business with in the Africa continent.

With the highest percentage of foreign tourists from African countries as shown in Figure 1 above, it can be concluded that Africa is emerging out as one of the new markets for mega-sports events such as the World Cup, the Olympics; as compared to the traditional markets of Europe and Asia.


Figure 1: Total Foreign Tourist Arrivals (309,554): A case of the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

Africa: An Emerging Outbound Tourism Engine

Many countries in the so-called ’South’ have improved their economies significantly in recent years. Many developing nations are now rising with unprecedented speed and scale. The global middle class is predicted to grow to 3.2 billion by 2020 and to 4.9 billion by 2030, with 80% of it in countries in the ’South’. Much of this development (rising middle class) is happening in India, China and Brazil (BRICs). Another Less noticed upward trend is taking place in Africa. For example, Ghana and Uganda are among the 18 ’high achievers’ in terms of human development over the last two decades. These countries are characterized by strong proactive governments, innovative social policies and have linked their economies to global markets (World Travel Trends Report, 2013).

Looking ahead, diverse international organizations predict solid economic growth in Africa in the years and decades to come. For example, UK-based Oxford Economics Recently forecast that African GDP would grow faster than any other world region up to 2030 and, combined with rapid urbanization and rising populations would create dynamic new consumer markets in cities across the continent. One sign of the economic growth in Africa is the rise in outbound travel. According to figures from IPK International’s World Travel Monitor, Outbound travel in the Africa/Middle East region has regularly grown in a 6-9% range in recent years, thus outpacing worldwide growth [4]. Hence as countries in Africa develop their economies and the number of people with sufficient disposable income to travel increases, we can expect to see a steady above average rise in international travel in the years to come. This will benefit countries both within and outside Africa, alternatively participation in major future sports events like the World Cup in 2018 (Russia) and mainly in 2022 (Qatar) will be boosted due to increased number of out bound tourists from African countries.

Nevertheless, the general African outbound travel though remains small at present. The total market size is expected to rise from approximately 40 million outbound trips in 2013 in an upwards trends at a very fast pace. The largest source markets are Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt. The top destination within the continent is South Africa while the Gulf States in the Middle East are the most popular destination outside Africa. There is also a significant flow of South African visitors to Europe, with an estimated 0.7 million trips a year. Therefore, we should expect the 2022 Qatar World Cup to receive one of the biggest numbers of outbound tourists in the World Cup history [5].

Induced Benefits to Tourism (Tourism During, Pre- and Post-Event)

The impact of Event on Tourism was given in Table 1.

Mega Sports Event Impact of Event on Tourism
Calgary Winter Games 1988 The number of annual visitors to Alberta doubled from 500K to 1 million in the 10 years preceding the Olympics.
Lillehammer, Norway 1994 Winter Games Tourism in the Lillehammer region grew by 57% from 1989 – 1994.
Foreign visitor nights in Norway increased by 43% in the four years leading up to the event (from 2.7 million to 3.9 million).
1988 FIFA World Cup France International visitor arrivals increased by 13.1% in 1998; over 350K foreigners visited Paris alone during the World Cup tournament.
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games An incremental 1.6 million international visitors visited Australia between 1997 to 2004.
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany Approximately 850K to 1 million foreign visitors visited Germany to watch the World Cup matches in 2006.

Table 1: Tourism During, Pre- and Post-Event.


Economic Impact of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games: Minister of State for Community Charter and 2010 Olympic Bid, Government of British Columbia.

Reaching Beyond the Gold - the Impact of Olympic Games on Real Estate Markets. Lasalle Investment Management, 2001.

The Olympic Effect: A report on the potential tourism impacts of the Sydney 2000 Games. The Sydney Tourism Forecasting Council, 1998.

Socio-Economic Analysis of the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany. German Football Association, 2000.

Tourism has three main types [6]; these include domestic tourism, incoming or inbound tourism and outbound tourism. Outbound Tourism is defined as when people travel away from their home country to visit other international countries for leisure or business; for example, a family from South Africa travelling to Saudi Arabia for a holiday.

Outbound tourism will generates some money in Africa as the country of origin. Outbound tourists buy things such as travel insurance, plane tickets and new travel clothing from their home country. This will include several countries such as South Africa, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Egypt and many other African economies that will directly or indirectly take part in the Qatar 2022 world cup. However, ultimately, outbound tourism takes financial resources out of the home country and gives them to the destination country.

Tourism Impact of Mega Sports Events: Outbound Tourism

Typically, mega sports events are of greater scale than domestic sports events, of longer duration and expected to produce tourist earnings [7]. The summer and Winter Olympic Games usually last for 2 weeks, the FIFA World Cup lasts about 1 month, the Cricket World Cup lasts about 6 weeks and the Rugby World Cup continues for almost 2 months. Mega sports events are attractive not only for the international visitor but also for the host country due to visitor expenditure on accommodation, airline transport, local transportation, food, game tickets, souvenirs, etc. The expenditure on the part of international tourists becomes foreign exchange earnings for the host country and a source of revenue for taxation in the host city or country [8]. The same expenditure buy these tourists while still in their countries before setting off to the host destinations leaves the outbound figures in their countries raised. Moreover, one-off mega sports events produce business opportunities and create new employment in the tourism industry.

South Africa’s bid for the Football World Cup in 2006 included a number of developmental objectives including a boost to tourism; this was to be accounted for by the rise in both inbound and outbound tourist’s numbers for both SA and for other participating countries respectively.

Most of the literature and economic studies of sports tourism focuses on mega sporting events like World Cups or Olympic Games and their impact on host cities. It is therefore equally important to understand the importance of such events to the local economies of other participating countries. This paper thus uses the case of the 2022 Qatar World Cup to understand how a special segment of the African Continent can benefit from such “extra-large” sports events; this is through boosting outbound tourism benefits. This is in line with [8] who points it out the sports events have potential to benefit to develop the tourism industry of the participating parties or countries.


Africa’s outbound tourism market will increase steadily in 2022 due to the World Cup that will be hosted in Qatar; this will be after taking into account factors such as economy, policies, politics, society and the service environment significantly affecting outbound travel. Due to the love of the beautiful game of football, and the popularity of the World Cup event itself, there will be higher outbound tourist’s outflows. This will increase tourism service trade deficits in that year with in many African countries, mainly from those that will have their teams take part in the event. Nevertheless, short-range outbound travel will be a major trend and sightseeing tourism will emerge as one of the main outbound tourism products. The outbound travel industry will even become more active as a result of favorable travel regulation that favor increased mass mobility as result of participation in the 2022 Qatar world cup games. However, it is very important to note that Qatar as the host of the sport event will be a key beneficially from the outbound tourists from several African countries and its tourism business will also be boomed equally or more. Inbound and outbound tourism have an important impact on a country’s financial health.


    PeetersT, MathesonV,SzymanzkiS (2014)Tourism and the 2010 World Cup: Lessons for Developing Countries. Journal of African Economics 23: 290-320.
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