29.04.2005 Travel & Tourism

Commonwealth tourism ministers pledge to work together

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Accra, April 29, GNA - Commonwealth tourism ministers on Friday pledged to work together to use tourism for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty for attaining the Millennium Development Goals. A communiqu=E9 released at the end of the Second Commonwealth Tourism Ministers meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, and received in Accra said the ministers agreed to place tourism on national and international agenda as a catalyst for poverty reduction, particularly at the community level.

The ministers agreed at the end of their two-day meeting to ensure that tourism development was appropriately sensitive to the needs of women and other vulnerable groups in society.

The ministers said they would ensure that security upgrades for tourism were accompanied by parallel action in travel facilitation, including improved passenger handling, at all entry points. "They agreed to intensify their initiatives for fair travel advisories, which ensure that information is accurate, geographically focused and frequently reviewed by governments at both ends of the markets."

The communiqu=E9 said the ministers agreed to place capacity building at the top of their priorities for development funding with a strong focus in triple bottom line of sustainability, performance and quality service and to support investment activities commencing with a seminar in London in November.

The ministers said they would strengthen relationships with the UN World Tourism Organisation and other tourism-related bodies, linking and partnering projects where feasible.

The ministers agreed to support the creation of a Commonwealth Tourism Centre in Malaysia to boost information flow, build capacity and enhance promotion initiatives.

They thanked the Malaysian government for offering to host the Centre and to finance it for three years, in the first instance. 29 April 05

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