Wednesday, August 4, 2021

African tourism ministers pledge to revitalise ailing industry

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African ministers attending a summit have agreed to work together to find a solution to revitalize the continental tourism industry currently financially battered by COVID-19.

The ministers made this known in a communique at the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, Brand Africa Summit.

The African ministers through the UNWTO summit pledged that African member states would work together to establish a new narrative for tourism across the continent.

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The pledge is meant to realise tourism’s potential to drive recovery, they said.

“UNWTO and its members will also work with the African Union and the private sector to promote the continent to new global audiences globally positive, people-centered storytelling and effective branding,” the UNWTO said in the communique.

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With tourism recognized as an essential pillar of sustainable and inclusive development for the continent, UNWTO welcomed high-level delegates to the first Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa.

It featured the participation of the political leadership of host country Namibia, alongside public and private sector leaders from across the continent.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, welcomed the common determination to rethink as well as restart tourism.

He said: “African destinations must take the lead in celebrating and promoting the continent’s vibrant culture, youthful energy and entrepreneur spirit, and its rich gastronomy.’’

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The UNWTO’s African member states unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa.

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“Under the terms of the Windhoek Pledge, members will engage both public and private sector stakeholders as well as local communities to build a new, inspiring narrative for tourism across the continent,” they said.

Xinhua/NAN

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