The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) member states from across Africa have highlighted priorities for tourism against the backdrop of COVID-19 and created the UNWTO Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth.

This roadmap for African tourism is based on the responses to a survey sent out by the Regional Department for Africa.

“This feedback from our African member states will help us guide tourism through the challenging months ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on tourism across the continent,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.

“However, UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger and better and for tourism to emerge from this crisis as an important pillar of economies, jobs and sustainability.”

A survey revealed five key areas of the UNWTO Agenda for Africa that member states would like to see prioritised to give them more support as they recover from the impact of COVID-19:

  • Unlocking growth through investment promotion and public-private partnerships;
  • Promoting innovation and technology;
  • Promoting travel facilitation, including enhanced connectivity and tourism visa policies;
  • Fostering resilience, including through promoting safety and security and crisis communications; and
  • Advocating for ‘Brand Africa’.

The survey answers showed that member states would like to see the part of the Agenda for Africa that focuses on fostering resilience, to be realigned to reflect the current situation to accelerate recovery.

The priorities of member states varied from different parts of Africa. In East Africa, members prioritised the promotion of better travel facilitation and unlocking tourism growth through investment and public-private partnerships.

Advocating for ‘Brand Africa’ emerged as the number-one priority for member states in Southern Africa and, in Central Africa, the focus was on strengthening tourism statistics systems.

Member states from across the continent would like to see UNWTO add a new section to the Agenda for Africa that focuses on promoting regional and domestic tourism.