Leaders rethink agenda for African tourism


World Tourism Organisation (WTO) secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili

from HANSLEY NABAB in Port Louis, Mauritius
Mauritius Bureau
PORT LOUIS, (CAJ News) – TOURISM leaders in Africa have met to realign the sector’s role as a driver of development and opportunity across the continent.

They met in Mauritius at the 66th meeting of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Regional Commission for Africa.

At the meeting, WTO disclosed international arrivals across Africa were back to 88 percent of pre-pandemic levels at the end of the first quarter of this year.

At the sub-regional level, North Africa is performing particularly strongly.

Here, arrivals were actually 4 percent higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 in the same period.

Globally, international tourism receipts reached US$1 billion in 2022, a 50 percent growth in real terms compared to 2021.

Among African destinations with available data, Morocco and Mauritius notably exceeded their 2019 tourism receipts in the first quarter of 2023.

Welcoming delegates, WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, said the WTO Agenda for Africa had been adapted.

“Our vision for African tourism is also one of strong governance, more education and better jobs,” he said.

“To achieve it, we aim to promote innovation, advocate for Brand Africa, facilitate travel, and unlock growth through investment and public-private partnerships.”

WTO welcomed delegations from 33 countries, including 22 Ministers of Tourism, two Deputy Ministers and four Ambassadors to the meeting that is the most important annual event for the region’s member states.

Against the backdrop of the Regional Commission meeting, Pololikashvili enjoyed an official visit to Le Morne, recognised by WTO as one of its Best Tourism Villages.

The Mauritian village of Old Grand Port was also awarded the accolade.

– CAJ News

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