A United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) study has projected that there will be 134 million international tourists visiting Africa in a single year by 2030.
UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai who said this on Sunday night, feels this makes the future of tourism in Africa bright and “the sector is on its way to being recognised as one of the pillars of Africa’s growth and development.”
He was speaking in Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe on Sunday night during the official opening of the 20th Session of the UNWTO general assembly.
According to Dr Rifai, international tourism arrivals in Africa grew from US$50 million in 1990 to US$52 million in 2012 while international tourism earnings grew from US$6 million in 1990 to US$34 million in 2012.
Dr Rifai said the co-hosting of the UNWTO general assembly in Zambia and Zimbabwe gives Africa an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of tourism on the African continent.
“We gather here in the heart of Africa with the will to continue along the encouraging path to driving tourism to the fulfillment of its potential and fostering sustainable economic and social development,” he said.
He said the UNWTO reaffirms its commitment to placing the tourism sector high on its political agenda and to ensure cooperation in promoting policies that ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in the industry.
|Fast facts about Tourism in Africa:|
|Projected number of international tourists in Africa in a single year by 2030||134 million|
|Who made this statement?||UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai|
|International tourist arrivals in Africa in 1990||US$50 million|
|International tourist arrivals in Africa in 2012||US$52 million|
|International tourism earnings in 1990||US$6 million|
|International tourism earnings in 2012||US$34 million|
Dr Rifai said despite the challenges that rocked the global market, international tourism continued to grow, reaching all-time highs.
“The 20th session of UNWTO general assembly meets here in the heart of Africa. This is the first time that the general assembly gathers here in southern Africa; this is the first ever most attended general assembly in the history of UNWTO,” he said.
Over 121 full delegations from member states, 140 delegates from all over the world, 750 delegates, 900 participants from the media and private sectors and 49 ministers and heads of delegations are attending this year’s general assembly.
Dr Rifai said tourism remains the central sector for all countries but particularly developing countries, especially on the African continent where it accounts for an increased number of jobs, community development investment and export earnings.
Date: 27 August 2013