The comfortable climate, variety of cultural attractions, attractive physical features such as the coastal beaches and the 5,996-sq-km (2,315-sq-mi) Niokolo-Koba National Park, and the relative proximity to Europe have combined to make Senegal an increasingly popular vacation area and international conference center. Gorée Island, near Dakar, has many former slave houses, where perhaps 20 million slaves were kept before being shipped to America between 1536 and 1848. Fishing is popular, and hunting is allowed from December to May on an 80,000-hectare (198,000-acre) reserve. All visitors arriving from infected areas must have valid yellow fever inoculation certificates; visa are not required for stays up to 90 days.
In 2000, 389,433 foreign tourists arrived in Senegal spending an estimated US $140 million. There were 9,835 hotel rooms with 18,340 beds and a 35% occupancy rate in that year.
According to 2002 US government estimates, the daily cost of staying in Dakar is about $169 per day. Elsewhere the cost per day can be about $68.