IFC commissioned a study to better understand leisure and business tourism in Senegal and to identify the potential markets that might visit in the future in order to find projects that would attract US$15 million of committed private sector investment by at least two investors.
The solution involved both primary and secondary research. Primary research included consultations with stakeholders (over 50 tour operators) as well as accommodation establishments, government officials, and industry associations in Senegal. A visitor survey was undertaken at the airport in Dakar, and a panel survey was executed in six key source markets to better understand perceptions of Senegal. A stakeholder workshop was held half-way through the project to present the findings, and a long list of niche segments that could be developed to grow the tourism sector in a sustainable way over a 10 year period was established.
Forecasts were generated for each of the 12 niche segments to project visitor arrivals and spend over a 10 year period. Site assessments in Senegal also identified locations that would offer potential for infrastructure and superstructure development relating to each segment.
Based on the projections and physical assessments, a short list of niche segments was identified and presented at a validation workshop attended by key industry stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
The five niche segments that were identified as offering the greatest potential in Senegal included mid-market touring, high-end culture visitors, International MICE, mid-market nature lovers, and adventure seekers.
For each of the niche markets, a detailed profile of visitors was researched and compiled, as well as the identification of physical areas in Senegal for potential development, a value chain link map, constraints and obstacles that could hinder the development of the segment, and areas of intervention and opportunities for mitigating the risks and promoting growth.