Synergy Among African Countries Key In Boosting Travel In The Continent.

Synergy Among African Countries Key In Boosting Travel In The Continent. Nairobi, Thursday 13th October 2022: Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chairperson Joanne Mwangi-Yelbert has called on Africa’s tourism boards and stakeholders in public and private sectors to create synergies that can promote intra-African travel. She said that the continent holds great potential in terms of its natural, economic and climatic advantages which can be leveraged by the tourism sector. The KTB Chair noted that despite the fact that there are many opportunities for intra-Africa travel, little or no synergies exist among the various stakeholders. “The African continent is one that has a great potential for tourism. The vastness of the continent, its natural beauty and its immense biodiversity offer travellers an almost unlimited choice of destinations. For example, instead of the big five we have in Kenya, combined, Africa can have the Big 20 due to the diversity in resources the continent has” she said during a meeting with Africa Tourism Boards representatives on the sidelines of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo. “Going by pre-pandemic UNWTO intra-Africa connectivity numbers, there is huge potential for African countries to come together in the promotion of travel opportunities within the continent. We need to go ahead and capitalize on this opportunity by crafting strategies that will help us achieve our goals.” She added Ms Mwangi also highlighted the need for a review of barriers to business and tourism development in order to facilitate trade within the region as well as economically viable joint ventures between countries within the continent. This was in reference to recent calls by tourism stakeholders within the East African Community region to speed up efforts to embrace the implementation of the EAC One Single Tourist Visa. Its implementation has been held back by poor ICT infrastructure at the national level to facilitate connectivity of the entry or exit points. She also urged tourism boards in the continent to seek more partnerships with governments and other stakeholders in the sector to ensure the future success of tourism in Africa. She challenged the boards to be at the frontier in innovating new marketing strategies that can help boost tourism development. “Tourism has been growing rapidly over the past decade, but this growth has not been evenly distributed across all African countries. A majority of countries are still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development and market access, which is why partnerships between tourism boards and governments will be key in helping to grow our industry,” said Ms. Mwangi According to data from UNWTO, Intra-African connectivity reached 80% of its pre-Covid-19 level by December 2021. The report also indicates that international arrivals in Africa grew to 18.5 million in 2021 from 16.2 million in 2020. Further, data from International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows African airlines had a 69.5% rise in February passenger traffic compared to 2021 figures, signifying a continued recovery in air travel which had faced a slump owing to the COVID-19-induced travel restrictions. As the recovery in air travel continues to gather steam with the lifting of travel restrictions, international connectivity is expected to continue growing rapidly—with Africa as one of the primary destinations. [caption id="attachment_56864" align="aligncenter" width="928"] KTB CEO Dr Betty Radier (Left) and KTB Chairperson Joanne Mwangi (middle) with a representative of the Tanzania Tourist Boards. The Boards met to discuss areas of synergy in tourism promotion during the just-ended MKTE[/caption]  

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