The United Nations World Tourism Organisation says it is targeting double-digit growth for Africa’s tourism sector this decade.
This is expected to be one of the major issues at the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia this August.
UNWTO regional director for Africa Mr Osman Ndiaye, who was in the country recently as part of a two-member inspectorate team, said the general assembly was an opportunity for Africa to strategise on increasing its world tourism market share from the current 6 percent to double- digit figures.
“Africa presently bears only about 6 percent of the global tourism market and we are hoping to increase the percentage to double digits by the year 2020,” he said.
Mr Ndiaye said Africa’s current share of the global tourism market was too low considering that the continent is vested with extensive natural resources.
UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
As the leading international organisation in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
Mr Ndiaye said Africa could only enjoy increased tourism by opening up the skies as well as easing up on visa restrictions.
“Open skies and open visas are some of the issues that need tackling for the growth of the African tourism market.
UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world.