Africa News Issue 22

Africa Newsletter

Elcia Grandcourt - Director


Dear Esteemed readers,

As we begin another exciting year, I am pleased to share with you some of the remarkable strides and exciting initiatives that are transforming the African tourism landscape. To mark the 10th anniversary of this Newsletter, I will delve into the rebound of the sector post-pandemic and will look at the realigned UNWTO Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth, along with a glimpse into the exciting year ahead.


Tourism in Africa: Bouncing Back


According to UNWTO data, tourism across Africa is returning to strength following the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic:

· International arrivals across Africa recovered 96% of pre-pandemic visitors

· At the sub-regional level, North Africa is performing particularly strongly. Here, arrivals were actually 8% higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 in Jan-July 2023.

· Globally International tourism receipts grew back to hit the USD1 trillion mark in 2022, a 50% growth in real terms compared to 2021. Among African destinations with available data, with Ethiopia (+28%), Tanzania (+19%) and Morocco (+15%) by far exceeding their respective pre-pandemic levels in January-July 2023.




UNWTO Members Meet to Rethink Agenda for Africa Tourism

UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa

Tourism leaders from across Africa met to rethink and realign the sector's role as a driver of development and opportunity across the region. At the 66th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa, Member States joined representatives from international organizations and the private sector to focus on opportunities around tourism jobs and investments while also recognizing the vital need to address challenges, including the climate crisis.


Tourism Leaders Place African Focus on Global Challenges

The Conference on Rethinking Africa: Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Addressing global challenges; Promoting investment and partnerships brought expert African perspectives to global challenges, highlighting the need of investments towards a greener tourism sector and access to finance within the sector and the need to further strengthen public-private collaboration at every level

UNWTO's Participation in the UNESCO Capacity-building Workshop on Community-Based Ecotourism and Conservation

At the kind invitation of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for Central Africa, UNWTO participated in a three-day workshop aimed at building the capacities of local organizations, enterprises, and communities involved in ecotourism and conservation work around the two World Heritage sites in Cameroon.


Workshop on Safety and Security: Crisis Communication in the Tourism Sector

Tourism is an ever-evolving sector, offering enormous potential for economic growth and development for Africa. However, to harness this potential fully, ensuring safety and security is paramount. It is within this framework that UNWTO, in partnership with UEMOA, organized a virtual workshop on "Safety and Security in Tourism in Africa" from 28 to 29 September 2023 in French, uniting over 50 participants from various African nations.

UNWTO Communication, Media and Tourism Training in Africa Workshop

The first UNWTO Communication, Media and Tourism Training in Africa Workshop organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) was in the majestic Victoria Falls, from 13 to 15 November 2023 bringing together tourism professionals, journalists, media and communication specialists drawn from 20 countries in the Africa region.

Empowering Rural Communities in Africa

One of the flagship initiative of UNWTO's Tourism for Rural Development Programme, Best Tourism Villages (BTV) launched in 2021, aims to propel local development by recognizing rural destinations that exhibit accredited cultural and natural assets and vision on sustainability.




Botswana: The Preparation of Development Guidelines and Customised Investment Models for Kasane-Kazungula Priority Tourism Sites

Botswana: The Preparation of Development Guidelines and Customised Investment Models for Kasane-Kazungula Priority Tourism Sites

The Botswana Government, in partnership with UNWTO, is embarking on an ambitious journey to transform Kasane-Kazungula, nestled in the scenic northwest region of our country, into a bustling international and domestic tourism hotspot.


UNWTO/EBRD Support Tourism Dashboard Project for the Kingdom of Morocco

UNWTO, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has successfully developed a Tourism Dashboard for Morocco's Ministry of Tourism, Handicraft, and Social and Solidarity Economy.


UNDP and UNWTO Supporting Tourism Recovery and Local Economic Development in the United Republic of Tanzania

Since 2022, UNDP Tanzania and UNWTO have been collaborating on a joint project, titled "Tanzania Tourism Recovery through Digital Transformation and Local Economy Development".




International Tourism in Africa Recovered 92% of Pre-pandemic Levels Through September 2023


· Africa recovered 92% of pre-crisis arrivals in January-September 2023, compared to the 84% for the world average. This follows a 67% recovery in arrivals in 2022. Africa was the second-best performing region after the Middle East in the first nine months of 2023.
· North Africa (+8%) is together with Southern Mediterranean Europe and Central America the three world subregions to recover pre-pandemic levels in January-July 2023.
· International tourist arrivals in Ethiopia (+28%), Tanzania (+19%) and Morocco (+15%) exceeded their respective pre-pandemic levels by far in this seven-month period.
· In terms of receipts, Africa has recovered 84% of pre-pandemic earnings versus 74% for the world in 2022. According to available data, Seychelles (+59%), Algeria (+56%), Ethiopia (+49%), Sudan (+30%), Burundi (+23%), Morocco (+16%), Guinea (+12%) and Kenya (+10%), exceeded pre-pandemic levels in receipts in 2022.



8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, San Sebastian, Spain 5-7 October

The 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism was celebrated last October in San Sebastian (Spain) and counted on the important presence of Africa. Under the theme "Gastronomy Tourism: Back to the Roots", the Forum presented an opportunity to deepen the focus on African gastronomy and its links to agriculture and cultural heritage

New Affiliate Members from the Continent

Bedouin Limited from Nigeria and LT Luxy Conciergerie from Côte d'Ivoire became the newest Affiliate Members of Africa.

The African participation at the 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly was not only a display of unity and collaboration but also a clear indicator of the continent's readiness to lead and innovate in the tourism sector. Together, we are steering African tourism towards a brighter and more sustainable future. Documents including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session are available through this link.

Picture of the sessions

Strengthening Sustainable Aviation and Tourism: UNWTO and AFRAA Extend Collaboration Until 2025

In a pivotal move for the future of African aviation and tourism, UNWTO and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have formalized their commitment with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), extending their partnership until 2025.

First Spain-West Africa Chamber of Commerce Meeting, Gran Canarias, Spain, 22 November 2023

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Chamber of Commerce of Gran Canaria hosted the inaugural Encuentro de Cámaras de Comercio de España y África Occidental on November 22, 2023, at Infecar Feria de Gran Canaria.


UNWTO 25th Session of the General Assembly, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 16-20 October 2023

The 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand was a significant event, marked by the robust participation of African nations. The assembly welcomed 1,100 participants from across the globe, with Africa contributing 121 delegates, a testament to the continent's active engagement and commitment to global tourism development.

Statistical Framework on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism

Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) aims to provide an internationally agreed statistical framework to measure the impacts and dependencies of tourism on the economy, society, and the environment.

A Pioneering Partnership: AFCAC and UNWTO Forge New Collaborative Vision

The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and UNWTO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 27 of November 2023, marking a milestone in collaborative efforts. This agreement propels shared initiatives, including the promotion of sustainable tourism and the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM),

Expanding Horizons: Strengthening Affiliate Membership in Africa

Aligned with our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive Affiliate Membership, the Affiliate Members Department (AMD) has intensified efforts to increase our presence in Africa. Acknowledging the current underrepresentation of African entities, we have dedicated recent months to a targeted Expansion Strategy.




Angola Inaugurates New Airport and Waives Tourist Visa for 98 Countries to Boost Tourism Industry Development


Angola aims to become a nation that is open to tourism and to enhance its natural and cultural heritage by making it easier for visitors to enjoy it. Achieving this vision relies on creating conditions to attract and welcome tourists.


Implementation of the Online Visa in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

It's official! Equatorial Guinea has taken an important and firm step towards tourism development with the implementation of the issuance of electronic visas, effective 1 July 2023

Revolutionizing Tourism: Nigeria's Bold Leap with the Establishment of the Ministry of Tourism

In a visionary move, Nigeria created a separate Ministry of Tourism, marking a pivotal moment in the nation's commitment of fostering its tourism sector.

2nd UNWTO Regional Conference on Brand Africa, Livingstone, Zambia, April 2024

Zambia's tourism sector boasts of a plethora of attractions, from the awe-inspiring Mosi-oa-tunya /Victoria Falls World Heritage Site to thrilling adventure activities like the devil's pool and wildlife safaris.


Moroccan Tourism on the Rise

These past two years have been nothing short of both remarkable and challenging for Morocco. Under the visionary leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco successfully navigated two major challenges: Covid-19 and the Al Haouz earthquake, all while demonstrating great results in the realm of tourism

Sustainable Seychelles: Leading the Way in Responsible Tourism

In the heart of the Indian Ocean lies Seychelles, not just a dream destination but a beacon of hope for the sustainable tourism movement.

Igniting Innovation: Tourism Hackathon Nigeria 2.0

In a display of creativity and technological prowess, the second iteration of the Tourism Hackathon Nigeria unfolded at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos from September 6th to 7th, 2023.

LT LUXY Conciergerie, UNWTO Affiliate Member

Africa not only has the need, but also the potential, to offer exceptional luxury services. With its breath-taking landscapes, incredible wildlife, and diverse cultural richness, the African continent provides a perfect backdrop for the development of a luxury industry





Upcoming Events

2nd UN Tourism Regional Conference on Brand Africa

Date TBC


67th Meeting of the UN Tourism Regional Commission for Africa

Date TBC

UN Tourism
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