Tourism Is Africa's Most Promising Sector – Minister
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare, has said that Africa has a major opportunity to harness the potential of tourism.
This, she, said would foster development, increase its participation in the global economy and generate revenue for investments.
She said tourism is one of Africa's most promising sectors in terms of development and it creates opportunities for millions of host communities in Africa and provides revenue for environmental development.
Mrs Ofosu Adjare was briefing the press in Accra on the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference to be held in the capital city.
She said Africa's tourism and the capacity of the tourism sector to contribute to the development of the continent is often hindered by the negative perception of Africa and the generalisation of crises situations in countries for the whole region.
She, however, noted that there are numerous positive stories of Africa that did not reach the global audience and impact on the perception of the region.
She said the conference which is scheduled for August 17 to August 19, at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel is on the theme: 'Enhancing Brand Africa, Fostering Tourism Development.'
The sector Minister said the conference among other things would analyse the situation of Brand Africa and its impact on tourism on the continent as well as identify challenges facing African countries and exchange national experience on country branding and tourism branding.
Mrs Ofosu Adjare noted that Africa in 2014 received 56 million international tourists up from 26 million in 2000, out of which Ghana had one million.
She said the international tourism receipt in Africa amounted to $ 36 billion or seven per cent of all exports on the continent.
She said the UNWTO conference therefore aims at building the capacity in Africa for the realisation of a strong image and brand which is fundamental to achieving a resilient tourism sector.
'The brand Africa conference 2015 aims at bringing together a number of Tourism Ministers to set a common action plan to advance Africa's image and brand as the preferred tourism destination,' she added.
She noted that among the areas of discussion at the forthcoming conference would be positioning, branding, e-communications and media relations. Other areas include crises communication, public private partnership as well as resource and capacity building.