Tourism development in African continent tops African Tourism Ministers’ discussion

Published on : Wednesday, May 13, 2015

East African tourismAhead of the official opening of the Tourism Indaba in Durban on Friday, growth and development of tourism in the African continent was at the top of the agenda during the African Tourism Ministers roundtable discussion in Durban last week.

 

The roundtable discussion, hosted by South African Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom with the theme “Africa: Open for Tourism Business”, afforded 13 African Ministers and key tourism industry players an opportunity to discuss and debate the current state of tourism in Africa with a view to collectively formulating solutions to grow and develop tourism on the continent.

 

The Tourism Indaba, which remains the largest tourism marketing event for Africa, opened on Friday and ended on Monday.

 

Hanekom said the African market was undergoing unprecedented growth in tourist arrivals and global interest in the continent, and a growing middle class with disposal income, was driving economic growth.

 

The ministerial meeting was not only a testimony to the commitment to strengthen relationships with African counterparts, but a positive step forward towards finding workable solutions to advance tourism within the continent, he added.

 

He said although the continent was overwhelmed by social and economic challenges, challenges such as the outbreak of Ebola and the recent attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa had the potential to impact negatively on tourism on the continent. “We have to rise against these challenges, and commit to work together to address them for the future of tourism,” Hanekom said.

 

The African region had many assets for tourism development, but challenges to infrastructure development, visa facilitation and connectivity, and the financing of tourism development have the potential to offset that growth.

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