Workshop Accentuates Improving Services to Boost African Tourism Gains

Ensuring regional approach and preparing tourism master plan is key to catalyze the sector.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization Regional Workshop for African entitled " Key to Success in Quality Product Development in Tourism Destination" highlighted that African tourism generating less economic gains despite its enormous potential.

Speaking at the three-day workshop yesterday, Deputy Executive Secretary for Knowledge Delivery at United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa Giovanie Biha said promoting products such hotel and resort services, professionals, transportation and infrastructure is essential to harness Africa's untapped tourism potentials.

Ensuring regional approach and preparing tourism master plan is key to catalyze the sector in addition to promoting public private partnership, the Deputy Executive Secretary said.

The sector accounts significant share to global GDP but the contribution of the continent remains minimal due to lack of promotions, decent hotel services and skilled manpower, what is needed to boost the sector is to continue giving priorities in government agendas and improve the overall services and ensure professionalism, World Tourism Organization African Director Elcia Grandcourt said.

Since recently, African tourism is in the rise and the prospect is positive but there remains a lot to be done in stepping up Africa's economic gains and share in the global level, Elcia added.

Culture and Tourism Minister Eng. Aisha Mohammad on her part said that Ethiopia's growing tourism sector is challenged by incompetent services. Promoting domestic tourism, creating conducive environment for public sector engagement, strengthening coordination among different stakeholders and regional integration are the prerequisite to promote the sector in Ethiopia.

According to Eng. Aisha, Ethiopia has already prepared a five-year strategic plan to become one of the top five African tourist destination countries by 2020. Accordingly, the Ministry is collaborating with regional and international organizations to build the capacity of the private sector and overcome the bottlenecks facing the sector.

Source: allAfrica