Africa News Issue 23



Elcia Grandcourt - Director


Dear Esteemed readers,

“Bringing the world closer” UN Tourism new tagline puts people at the center of what we do as well as solidifies our role as the premier global authority driving tourism for sustainable development. 

With a renewed commitment to prioritizing both "people and planet," we are forging ahead with renewed optimism and determination towards increasing growth and shaping the future of tourism. 


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.




“Invest in Zambia: Tourism Investment Outlook, Trends, and Opportunities” Event in Madrid 

"Invest in Zambia"

UN Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Zambia recently concluded the "Invest in Zambia: Tourism Investment Outlook, Trends, and Opportunities" event during FITUR in Madrid, on January 23, 2024. The event exceeded expectations, showcasing Zambia's robust tourism sector and its pivotal role in national and regional socio-economic growth. A highlight was the soft launch of Zambia´s tourism investment guidelines, being developed jointly by UN Tourism in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of Zambia, the Zambia Tourism Agency and The Zambia Development Agency, offering key insights into the country's tourism investment climate, promoting its unique value proposition, and highlighting competitive attributes that make it an attractive destination for investors. 


UN Tourism International Women´s Day Webinar for the Africa Region, under the theme “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress” 

Aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 5, aiming to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and in accordance with the UN Tourism Agenda for Africa - Tourism for Inclusive Growth, which recognizes women and youth empowerment as a priority area, the webinar was held on the 8th of March, to mark International Women´s Day. In the tourism sector, women constitute 54% of the workforce globally, a figure that increases to 69% in the Africa region. 

Kenya, elected Chair of the Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness (2023-2027) 

The Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness convened in its 14th Meeting on 23 January 2024 at UN Tourism Headquarters in Madrid, Spain, on the sidelines of FITUR 2024. This was the first meeting of the Committee in its current composition (2023-2027). The meeting served to present the programme of work of the Committee for the next two years in line with the priorities identified by the Member States and presented in the 25th General Assembly on 16-20 October 2023 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 


Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism - 4th Edition opens call for applications 

UN Tourism has opened applications for the 2024 edition of its “Best Tourism Villages” initiative on January 24th. The “Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism” initiative, introduced in 2021, seeks to transform tourism into a catalyst for rural prosperity and wellbeing. The initiative takes a dual-pronged approach: valuing and preserving rural villages, their landscapes, cultural diversity, and knowledge systems, and advancing innovative strategies aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Eighteenth meeting of the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability 

The Committee on Tourism and Sustainability (CTS) held its eighteenth meeting on 25 January 2024, in Madrid, coinciding with the 44th International Tourism Fair (FITUR). This marked the inaugural meeting for the newly elected members for the 2023-2027 term, underscoring the UN Tourism’s commitment to steering sustainable and resilient tourism development. Eight out of the nine elected CTS members were present, including Kenya and Zimbabwe from the African region, alongside representatives from Associate and Affiliate Members. 

Single African Aviation Transport Market (SAATM) Airshow in Banjul, Gambia

The recent participation of Mrs Lydia Bebe Kum, Officer at the UN Tourism, in the Single Air Transport Market Pilot Implementation Project (SAATM-PIP) Coalition Roadshow in Banjul, Gambia, held on 13 and 14 March 2024 marks a significant step towards enhancing intra-Africa travel, tourism and trade. 


1st Tourism Working Group Meeting (online) – G20 Brazil Presidency 

Under the presidency of Saudi Arabia (2020), the Ministers of Tourism approved the creation of the G20 Tourism Working Group, which aims to address priority issues for the sector to promote even stronger, more sustainable and balanced growth. 




UN Tourism´s Scoping Mission for Exploring Botswana´s Tourism Potential  


UN Tourism, in close collaboration with the Department of Tourism in Botswana, has launched a scoping mission to identify suitable tourism sites within Tourism Development Area 1, which includes Gaborone and its surrounding areas. The area, known for its diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage, holds significant potential for tourism growth.  


Seychelles Draft Tourism Human Resources Development Strategy

The Seychelles Draft Tourism Human Resources Development Strategy was presented to the tourism sector and other stakeholders in a series of workshops in Mahe, Praslin and La Digue from 22 to 24 March 2024. The strategy was developed with the technical assistance of United Nations Tourism and the workshops were facilitated by the UN Tourism consultant, Lisa Gordon-Davis.




International tourism in Africa recovered 96% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023 


· Africa recovered 96% of pre-crisis arrivals in January-December 2023, compared to the 88% for the world average. This follows a 69% recovery in arrivals in 2022. The region saw robust demand from European markets.  
· Africa was the second-best performing region in 2023 after the Middle East. North Africa (+5%) is together with Southern Mediterranean Europe, the Caribbean and Central America one of the four world subregions to recover pre-pandemic levels in 2023. 
· Ethiopia (+30%), Tanzania (+20%) and Morocco (+11%) all exceeded their 2019 arrivals numbers through October and November 2023. According to IATA, the region saw a buoyant recovery in international connectivity to Europe and the Middle East and on intra-regional routes. 
· In terms of receipts, Africa recovered 83% of pre-pandemic earnings, versus 75% for the world in 2022. According to available data, Mauritius (+36%), Morocco (+34%) and Tanzania (+20%), exceeded pre-pandemic levels through October and November 2023. 



G20 Tourism and SDGs Dashboard  

UNWTO worked in partnership with India's Ministry of Tourism during Indian G20 Presidency (2023) to create the G20 Tourism and SDGs Dashboard as a tool to promote the sector's contribution to accelerating progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Mentorship for the African Villages in the Best Tourism Villages' Upgrade Programme  

As part of the Upgrade Programme of the Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism Initiative, the African villages that presented gaps in some Areas of Evaluation underwent a customised mentoring process led by international experts in different areas.  


UN Tourism Celebrates Chef Binta's Role in Advancing Gastronomy Tourism in Africa  

Recognizing her dedication to preserving African culinary heritage while promoting sustainability and community empowerment, UN Tourism has appointed renowned chef Fatmata Binta as Ambassador for Responsible Tourism during the 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism. This appointment not only acknowledges Chef Binta's commitment, but also underscores the pivotal role of gastronomy tourism in Africa's socio-economic development. 





The Angolan Government approves a Plan to Promote Tourism


Following the measure that exempts tourist visas for 98 countries around the world, the Angolan Government recently approved a Plan to Promote Tourism – PLANATUR, which estimates a public investment of more than thirty-five million dollars for the requalification of the main tourist sites classified as priorities, professional training and promoting Angola as tourism destination. 


CAN of hospitality: Tourism in all its splendor!

While Côte d’Ivoire hosted the Africa Cup of Nations from January 13th to February 11th, 2024, UNWTO entered a new era by becoming "UN Tourism".

When Tourism Meets Handicrafts in Madagascar

In Madagascar, the recent merger of the Ministries of Tourism and Handicrafts highlights the crucial importance of tourism inflows for the economy, especially in the post-health-crisis context.


Djibouti, a veritable natural aquarium

Djibouti, nestled between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, features an underwater paradise with unparalleled treasures. Diving in this marine sanctuary, explorers are immersed in an extraordinary underwater world with colourful coral reefs and marine life that is diverse and well-preserved. 

Seychelles Tourism Department Charts a Path to Sustainable Tourism with New Policy Framework

The Seychelles Tourism Department is embarking on a significant journey towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of its tourism industry.

The Fulani Kitchen Foundation Culinary Heritage Village in Ghana

Chef Binta, UN Tourism Ambassador for Responsible Tourism and Executive Chef at Dine on a Mat, a Nomadic Restaurant, established the Fulani Kitchen Foundation in 2020 with the objectives to improve food security for rural communities, increase productivity through efficient post-harvest processing, and raise the income levels of women.


"The following content was submitted by UN Tourism's Member States and partners."





Upcoming Events

121st session of the UN Tourism Executive Council, 10-11 June 2024, Spain 

10-11 June, 2024, Spain


First UN Tourism Africa Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Africa, 26-28 July 2024, Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe 

26-28 July, 2024, Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe


67th Meeting of the UN Tourism Commission for Africa, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

(venue and dates to be announced shortly) 


World Tourism Day 2024 under the theme “Tourism and Peace”, 27 September 2024, Georgia  



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