UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa Meets in St Petersburg
African Member States met ahead of the General Assembly to plot a course for the future of tourism for the continent
On the eve of the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly, Member States of the Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) met in St Petersburg to discuss the key issues facing the continent as it looks to grow its tourism sector and harness it as a key driver of economic development and social transformation.
Prior to the 62nd meeting CAF, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili expressed his support for Mali. This meeting had been due to take place in Bamako, though this was not possible in the end. Member States supported the Secretary-General’s pledge to support Mali as it works to grow its tourism sector back.
The key focus of the CAF meeting was the UNWTO’s 2030 Agenda for Africa. This blueprint for the future of African tourism was launched after the UNWTO’s African Member States requested help in drawing up plans for growing and managing tourism and in making the sector a central driver of economic growth and sustainable development.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Pololikashvili said: “Africa has everything to position itself as a global tourism leader. 60% of Africans are under the age of 25. And African cities are real hubs of innovation, with entrepreneurs and innovators finding new ways to manage how we travel. With a concerted approach we can expect international tourist arrivals to Africa to reach 135 million by 2030. Together, we can ensure that this is good news for everyone. More tourists mean more jobs, more schools and greater protection for cultural and natural heritage.”