Adelaide Moyo, Business Reporter
THE African continent has a lot to offer as a tourist destination with arrivals expected to grow by between two percent and five percent in 2016, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has said.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said after seven editions with progressive increases in terms of both participants and projects, Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (Investour) will become one of the prime catalyst for the development of African tourism.
Rifai was addressing a Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa conference organised by the World Tourism Organisation and Casa Africa at the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Spain where tourism ministers, including Minister Walter Mzembi met recently.
“The African continent offers a wealth of opportunities in many areas, especially in the tourism sector.
Promoting sustainable development in Africa through the facilitation of networking and business opportunities in African tourism constitutes the main objective of this business forum.
We feel very proud when we look back on this seventh edition of Investour and see the more than 1,000 projects that have been presented in recent years and how participation has multiplied, making this event an international point of reference,” Rifai said.
He said African tourism ministers have to express their optimism regarding the growth potential of their countries.
“Africa’s tourist arrivals are expected to grow by between two percent and five percent in 2016.
According to estimates, the number of tourists travelling to Africa will reach 134 million in 2030 compared to the current 54 million tourists,” Rifai said.
Twenty African tourism ministers attended the seventh edition of the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa which was also attended by more than 400 professionals.
Director-General of Casa Africa Luis Padrón said the meeting was important as countries shared common interests.
“This event is a unique example of cooperation between entities of different natures, such as Casa Africa and the World Tourism Organisation, which nevertheless share common interests: facilitating the exchange of experiences and promoting opportunities and investments on the African continent,” said Padrón.