In a bid to strengthen their cooperation and advance plans for recovery and sustainable growth, the African members of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) held its 64th meeting of the regional Commission for Africa (CAF) in Cabo Verde recently.
With 23 countries represented on the island of Sal, 21 Ministers of Tourism, and five Ambassadors present at the high-level event, the President of Cabo Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, alongside Cabo Verde’s Minister of Tourism and Transport, Carlos Jorge Duarte Santos, and Prime Minister Dr. Ulisses Correia e Silva, reaffirmed support of the highest political level for tourism, and recognition of the sector as a driver of recovery and sustainable development.
Ambassador of Zambia to Spain and Permanent Representative to UNWTO delegates, Christine Kaseba Sata who presided over the event addressed the challenges of the sector’s safe restart across the continent. Special emphasis was placed on the importance of speeding up vaccine rollouts across the continent, as well as addressing security issues that continue to have an impact on how global travellers perceive Africa as a safe tourism destination. Also, the issue of improved connectivity between destinations, with air links for harmonisation of travel protocols was identified as an effective means for boosting regional tourism.
In his remark, Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The continent is united in its determination to use the power of tourism to drive development and opportunity for all. And with coordination and targeted investments, African tourism can finally fulfill its unique potential.”
UNWTO Members were updated on the development of the International Code for the Protection of Tourists, a landmark code aimed at helping restore confidence in travel. Members were also presented with an overview of the UNWTO General Programme of Work and Budget for the Period of 2022-2023. Members also held elections for key positions within UNWTO decision-making bodies ahead of the 24th General Assembly.