Projected growth in tourism traffic into Africa has exposed the need for regional integration that will assist to effectively position African products on the international market.
This is the sentiment agreed by African nations who participated at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany.
Africa is pushing to maximise its visibility on the international arena and events such as the ITB provide a critical plinth to effectively market the continent’s products.
The number of international tourist arrivals rose by 6 percent last year to 1.4 billion, according to an estimate published Monday by the World Tourism Organization.
The increase was driven by travel to southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the Madrid-based UN body, citing economic growth and technological advances as boosting factors.
Although arrivals to the Americas grew only by a modest three percent -- four for North America -- Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific performed strongly, with respective rises of six, seven and six percent.
The third cultural tourism conference (3-5 December) organized jointly between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concluded today in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants declared their support for cultural tourism as a driver for safeguarding living heritage, catalyzing creativity in cities, and spreading tourism’s socioeconomic benefits to all.
A key conclusion from the conference was the need for a clear and strong link between tourism, culture and local community stakeholders. Cultural tourism policies and strategies must consider the perspectives and interests of local communities, who can also assist governance bodies in balancing tourism
Cultural and heritage attractions are key to tourism development in many countries around the world, and innovation and technology can make these attractions more accessible while preserving their essence, the seminar concluded. It also stressed that innovation and technology should empower, rather than disenfranchise, host populations and communities and can assist them in retaining their authenticity, while cultural heritage development and preservation should be a part of local and national plans for socioeconomic development through tourism and technology.
The African Tourism Board is set to be launched at the World Travel Market on Monday, November 5, 14:00, Excel London World Travel Market North Gallery Room 4. Already a number of African travel and tourism companies have joined the ATB including Holiday Nigeria™, the leading inbound and domestic tour operating franchise company in Nigeria.
The idea of an African Tourism Board was created by the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) based in Seychelles, Brussels, Bali, and Hawaii.
Last April the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) led the global tourism industry leaders and stakeholders to champion Sustainable Tourism in the areas of international wildlife preservation and conservation. WTTC's sustained campaign led over 40 global tourism industry and allied partners to sign the Buenos Aires Declaration on illegal wildlife trade.
In compliance and activation of a United Nations mandate, one of her specialized agencies, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has since 2017 held several workshops, conferences, seminars and presentations, on economic tourism statistical measurement to national tourism organisations and regional tourism groups, particularly in Africa.