discovering tourism potential in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mono with students from Togo and Benin

The Mono river delta on the southern border between Benin and Togo is home to many different animals, some of which are under serious threat. The diverse landscape includes rivers, lakes, wetlands, savannahs, gallery forests, mangroves and beaches. Among the animals that live here are hippopotamuses, manatees, red-bellied monkeys (which are endemic to the south of Nigeria, Benin and Togo), antelope, buffalo and many varieties of waterfowl. As the area offers some unique biodiversity, tourism development is a way to gain income which should lead to a more economic and sustainable development of the region. These tourism developments should primarily benefit the local population. The area is rarely known by any one, so it’s important that people in the tourism industry get to know the area so they would be able to capitalize it. Building on existing local initiatives, the first step involves identifying the tourism potential in the Mono delta areas with students from Togolese and Beninese tourism Universities. During the celebration of World Tourism Day in total 20 students from Togo and Benin will be discovering and visiting the area of Grand Popo. Objective The idea is that the students will gain knowledge about what is actually on offer (= destination) and what could be interesting for future tourists (= demand). In a later stage the students, together with local stakeholders and tourism experts, will be working on sustainable product development and the commercialization of these products. Programme (only in french); Samedi 24 Septembre Cours de préparations au CET-AAT (Cotonou) 8.30 Repartition des groupes et hébergement 9.00 RBT / Grand Popo 10.00 SWOT 11.30 Produit touristique 12.30 Segmentation du marché 13.30 Pause déjeuner 14.30 Promotion et vente 16.00 Programme JMT 17.00 Fin Lundi 26 Septembre Sortie Grand-Popo 7.30 Rassemblement Agence AAT St. Michel 8.00 Départ 10.00 Installation dans les hotels divers 11.30 Transfert vers Saveurs d'Afrique 12.00 Mots de bienvenue de OT Grand Popo Saveurs d'Afrique 12.30 Présentation de DG de Saveurs d'Afrique 13.00 Pause déjeuner + animation Saveurs d'Afrique 14.00 Transfert vers EcoLodge de EcoBénin Avlo 14.45 Excursion sur le RBT; mangroves et bouche de Roi 18.30 Transfert vers Awale Plage 18.45 Présentation de DG Awale Plage Awale Plage 19.30 Diner et soirée Awale Plage 22.30 Transfert vers les hotels Mardi 27 Septembre Célébration Journée Mondial du Tourisme 7.30 transfert vers Coco Beach 8.00 Présentation de DG Coco Beach Coco Beach 8.30 Petit déjeuner Coco Beach 9.15 Marche vers Villa Karo 9.45 Visite de la Villa Karo et le Musée Villa Karo 10.30 Visite de la veille ville Heve 11.00 Travaux en atélier Auberge de Grand Popo 12.00 Mots de JMT 2016 12.05 Présentation de DG Auberge Auberge de Grand Popo 12.20 Mots de Maire du Grand Popo 12.30 Présentations de chaque groupe en 5 min. 13.00 Déjeuner Auberge de Grand Popo 14.00 Célebration de la JMT 2016 Auberge de Grand Popo 16.00 Cloture de la JMT 2016 Auberge de Grand Popo 16.30 Départ pour Cotonou 18.00 Arrivé à l'agence AAT St. Michel The Transboundary Biosphere Reserve in the Mono Delta is commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) Countries: Benin, Togo Lead executing agencies: Benin: Ministère du cadre de vie et du développement durable (MCVDD), Centre National de Gestion des Réserves de Faune (CENAGREF) Togo: Ministère de l’Environnement et des Ressources Forestières (MERF), Direction des Ressources Forestières (DRF)