UNWTO’s African Member States will work together to establish a new narrative for tourism across the continent. To better realize tourism’s potential to drive recovery, UNWTO and its Members will also work with the African Union and the private sector to promote the continent to new global audiences through positive, people-centred storytelling and effective branding.
With tourism recognized as an essential pillar of sustainable and inclusive development for the continent, UNWTO welcomed high-level delegates to the first Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa. The conference featured the participation of the political leadership of host country Namibia, alongside public and private sector leaders from across the continent.
The maiden Africa Tourism Day will be held virtually on the 26th of Novemver 2020. The Africa Tourism Day is a newly created annual event which will be hosted rotationally amongst African countries or group of countries. The Africa Tourism Day will also feature a number of scintillating side events, including Photo Contest and Tree-Planting exercise which commenced on the 1st of November and culminate on the 24th of November 2020.
The Covid-19 crisis has disproportionately affected tourism, a sector that accounts for millions of jobs around the globe. While no one can say with certainty when tourism will recover, people are starting to dream again of getaways whether closer to home or to remote destinations. As more and more people go online to search where and when they can travel, accelerating the digitalization of the tourism sector will be key to adapting to the new tourism reality.
That is why the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Google have partnered for an online Acceleration Program for UNWTO Member States' tourism ministers, top travel associations and tourism boards to further develop innovation and digital transformation skills.
Member States from across Africa have shared their priorities for tourism against the backdrop of COVID-19. As with every other global region, African destinations have been hit hard by the restrictions on travel introduced in response to the pandemic. The sudden and unexpected drop in tourist arrivals has placed many millions of jobs at risk and threatened to roll back the progress made in sustainable development.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have jointly called for African countries to strengthen their economic integration. They made this call at the recent launch of the Africa Regional Integration Index 2019 (ARII 2019). This is the second such index to be produced, the first being ARII 2016.
In a report commissioned by the African Development Bank, and the African Union Commission, released to reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa, on November 11, 2019, showed that
African countries are significantly putting-up measures to facilitate intra-Africa travel for investors, tourists and students.
The annual report is called, the Africa Visa Openess Index, and this year 2019 is the forth editio. It shows that 47 countries improved or maintained their visa openness scores in 2019. The Report clearly stated that, for the first time, on average, Africans can travel to approximately 27 countries visa-free or with a visa on arrival; Ethiopia moves up a record 32 places on the Index, entering the top 20 most visa-open countries in Africa.
Air travel, safety, booking difficulties and cost remains some of the barriers travellers in Africa currently endure. The findings of the recent African Traveller Report 2019 by the Sabre Corporation revealed that air travel remained inaccessible to the majority of African citizens, and increased by just 2 percent since 2016. The company interviewed 5 869 people from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The report revealed that only 26 percent of Africans travelled by air in the past 24 months.
The tourism in Nigeria is largely embryonic. This means most of the tourist sites are still in their original nature, with little or no enrichment to transform the sites into tourist attractions and profitable destinations. Accordingly, Nigeria is a land of natural wonders; replete with scenic landscapes, wildlife conservatories and, arguably home to the most enchanting African cultural tradition and heritage. One of Nigeria's leading natural wonder is the iconic, and mystical, Ogbunike Cave, in South Eastern Nigeria. The caves are a world wonder that have held visitors spellbound for decades and still do!
Ivorian Minister of Tourism, Siandou Fofana, has presented a strategic document aimed at making Côte d’Ivoire Africa’s fifth biggest tourism destination from 2025 to the African Development Bank, and immediately sought the bank’s support to implement the plan.
The documen, “Sublime Côte d’Ivoire,” was presented to the bank’s vice-president responsible for private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Pierre Guislain, at the headquarters in Abidjan.