African countries need to embrace green technologies as well as improve connectivity by air by opening up their skies to establish a domestic market for tourism activities to take place. These were among the key highlights of a tourism roundtable by African tourism ministers held in Cape Town, with the theme of tackling challenges for future investments in Africa’s tourism industry during a three-day World Travel Market Africa forum.

“There are only about 70 million travelers among Africa’s 1.3 billion people while only 26 African cities are connected to international standards,” said Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife of Kenya.

Relaxation of visa regimes in Africa could reduce airfare making it more affordable, not only for foreigners but also for domestic travel

Going green is the way for tourism development that is based on the natural resources. Africa could utilize most of its resources that include its vast solar energy potential and become a leader in green tourism.

“Botswana looks at sustainability as a key to facilitating the growth of tourism sector,”said Botswana Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng.

“We have to conserve and preserve national resources, on the basis of which we are developing and serving products,” she reiterated, adding that the southern African nation has revised its tourism policy to make it responsive and resilient to climate change.

The participants of this forum also discussed about the urgent need for an African coordinated COVID-19 protocol framework that would help in the digitization of the tourism sector as well as in establishing a central financing institution for the tourism industry.

World Travel Market Africa is a forum that includes a business-to-business tourism exhibition and other events, to bring benefits and opportunities to travel professionals in Africa.

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