Agbetuya Samuel, a local traditional healer and trader, is seen negotiating the price of pangolin head with a woman in Akure, Ondo, Nigeria. Picture: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters
Cape Town - Africa’s tourism gains in 2019 are set to continue with focus on the ‘’Agenda for Africa 2030 - Tourism for Inclusive Growth’’ adopted at the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili in his final broadcast in 2019 to the continent recalled the successes chalked during the year. He among other things mentioned the Agenda for Africa and some of the works that has already started on the continent.

Highlight of the things he mentioned were Promoting Travel Facilitation (Connectivity/Visa), Promoting Innovation and Technology, Fostering Resilience (Safety + Security, Crisis Communication), Unlocking Growth through Investment Promotion by Public Private Partnerships, Empowering Youth and Women through Tourism.

Pololikashvili encouraged colleagues and Ministers of Tourism to work hand-in-hand to make tourism that sector which has the magic wand to bring joy and happiness to homes, countries and many in the ecosystem.

In his outlook/expectations for the year, the former Georgian Diplomat said the quest for this year is to consolidate the outcomes of the core priority areas that have already been initiated and to start to engage the implementation of other areas.

“The quest for 2020 is to further consolidate the outcomes of those core priority areas that have already been initiated and to start to engaging the implementation of other areas such as; Advocating the Brand Africa; Strengthening Tourism Statistics Systems; Expanding of Capacity Building incl. Training Facilities; Advancing the Sustainability Agenda (esp. Biodiversity); Promoting Cultural Heritage,‘’ he said.

The Secretary General also stressed the need for the public sector to collaborate with the private sector who have identified sustainable tourism as a transformative tool for inclusive development.

“Tapping into the tourism potential that the continent has to offer would require working closely with the private sector and institutional partners that have identified sustainable tourism as a transformative tool for inclusive development. 

“As we promote the importance of tourism and rural development in 2020, it would be ever more important to leverage on partnerships to expand our outreach to be translated into tangible results on the ground which would have a lasting impact on the livelihoods of the local communities. The UNWTO is committed to working with, and for, the African continent,’’ Pololikashvili concluded.

* This article was first published on Voyages Africa.

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