Unlocking tourism growth through investment promotion and public-private partnerships is the World Tourism Organization’s 2021 target for Africa, in line with UNWTO’s Agenda 2030 for Africa updated during the pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis has hit the tourism sector extremely hard around the world. And Africa has been no exception. UNWTO data shows a 75% drop in international arrivals to the region in 2020. North Africa suffered a 78% drop in international arrivals and Sub-Saharan Africa a 64% drop. Meanwhile, 25% of the African continent continues to apply travel restrictions.
In Africa, tourism is a proven driver of opportunity for all, including rural communities, women and youth, and also funds nature and cultural conservation throughout the region.
That is why UNWTO is leading the recovery of the sector on this continent, working closely with destinations across Africa to support tourism and prepare for its safe, inclusive and responsible resumption. This work is being developed in line with UNWTO’s recently updated Agenda 2030 for Africa, which aims to drive growth by promoting investment and public-private partnerships.
In this regard, UNWTO sources point out that among the main tools available to them are the promotion of innovation and technology; facilitating travel through greater connectivity and secure tourist visa policies; fostering resilience by increasing security; and defending the “Africa brand”.
To achieve these objectives, UNWTO will focus its efforts on capacity building and training for crisis management and communication, marketing, domestic tourism development and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. In May, the UNWTO will take advantage of the FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid to raise the profile of the Investour African tourism investment forum, connecting the public sector with the private sector.
As part of its commitment to Africa, the UNWTO has also launched two communication campaigns – “My Africa” and “Africa Branding Challenge“- and published the Book on African Gastronomy, aimed at giving visibility to the African continent, highlighting its cultural and historical diversity, its culinary customs and the variety of its people.
The region will host, as a show of international support and solidarity, the next World Tourism Day 2021 to be held in Ivory Coast in September this year, and the 24th UNWTO General Assembly to be held a month later in Morocco.