Visa facilitation and air connectivity - key areas for tourism development in Africa
INVESTOUR, organized by UNWTO, FITUR and Casa Africa, promotes Africa´s tourism potential and the sector's importance as a catalyst of socio-economic development through partnerships with Portuguese and Spanish tourism companies. Attending the Forum were the Ministers of Tourism of Algeria, Benin, Cape Verde, Cote D´Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, Seychelles, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
"Tourism is of rising importance to the African economies. Today we will focus on three barriers still hampering the full potential of tourism in the region: air connectivity, visa facilitation and hotel investment" said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the event. "56 visas to visit 56 countries is not acceptable. Only with collective efforts can we successfully address such barriers and continue to promote tourism in Africa as a tool for development while stimulating new business opportunities in Spain and Portugal", he added.
This year, a record of 134 tourism initiatives from 32 African countries and 40 Spanish and Portuguese companies gathered at INVESTOUR. A significant number of the participating projects seek to develop sustainable tourism offers in countries such as Cote D´Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda while several other projects sought partners for the creation or renewal of the hotel infrastructure.
A joint initiative of UNWTO, FITUR and Casa África, INVESTOUR promotes sustainable tourism development in Africa by opening up its destinations to the Spanish and Portuguese outbound and investment market, fostering the growth of Africa's entrepreneurial fabric and job creation.
Rut Gómez Sobrino
Principal Media Officer
Phone: (+34) 91 567 81 60
About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is theUnited Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism"s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO"s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. For more information visit www.unwto.org.