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African tourism ministers pledge to work together to revitalise tourism industry

WINDHOEK, (The Southern African Times) – African minister attending the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Brand Africa Summit on Thursday released a communique, agreeing to work together to find a solution to revitalise the continental tourism industry currently financially battered by COVID-19.

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

The pledge is meant to better 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.

With tourism recognised 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, which 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.

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

As the Windhoek Pledge made by African ministers responsible for tourism puts people first on the back of a series of workshops and a ministerial think tank, UNWTO’s African member states unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa.

“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. 

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