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Promoting tourism development in Africa – UNWTO signs agreement with Casa Africa
04 Oct 12
UNWTO has partnered with Casa Africa, a Spanish Government institution mandated to foster stronger ties between Spain and Africa, to promote the development of sustainable tourism across the African continent.
“This agreement will allow UNWTO and Casa Africa to reinforce Africa’s capacity to employ tourism as an effective instrument of socio-economic development and poverty reduction,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, signing the agreement alongside Casa Africa Director-General, Santiago Martínez-Caro.
“Activities will be undertaken to support better tourism policies in Africa, as well as to create employment opportunities through increased investment in, and marketing of, African destinations,” he added.
The agreement formalizes the already on-going collaboration between UNWTO and Casa Africa, which stretches back to 2010 with the creation of The Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR). Held annually at the international Spanish tourism trade fair FITUR, in the capital Madrid, INVESTOUR aims to increase the visibility of Africa as a tourism destination and mobilize investment for sustainable tourism projects in the region.
“There are huge business opportunities in the Africa tourism sector,” said Mr. Martínez-Caro. “This initiative allows Spanish businesses to sit down with their African counterparts and invest in viable tourism projects in Africa.”
To date, over 40 African countries have participated at INVESTOUR, opening up their destinations to the Spanish outbound and investment market. The 4th edition of INVESTOUR will take place on 31 January 2013.
International tourism in Africa has almost doubled since 2000, growing from 26 million international tourist arrivals to 50 million in 2011. International tourism receipts, a vital source of foreign exchange in the region, tripled in just one decade (from US$ 10 billion in 2000 to US$ 33 billion in 2010).
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