UNWTO: Africa backed for huge growth

In 2006, Africa will be for the second
consecutive year the fastest-growing region in international tourist arrivals and UNWTO
has supported the development of African tourism destinations as a means to
contribute to the economic and social development.“Africa as a whole is at the heart of the UNWTO’s concerns”, UNWTO Secretary-General
Francesco Frangialli said during the opening of the 79th UNWTO Executive Council in
Algiers.

The development of African tourism relies not only on well-established destinations.
Likewise, growth in emerging markets on the continent’s tourism map make an
important contribution, led by Algeria along with Botswana, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria
and Senegal.

Algeria, for example, is now the fourth-ranking destination in Africa as it received
nearly 1.5 million foreign visitors in 2005, growing 17% over the preceding year,
according to UNWTO figures. As an oil-rich country, Algeria is an example for how
tourism “can ensure the distribution of wealth throughout the society, promote the
development of poor rural areas and create employment for young people and women who
need it”, Mr Frangialli added.

UNWTO is committed to contribute to the welfare of the people in Africa and the
satisfaction of the travellers visiting the continent. Work in progress and recent
initiatives include:

” UNWTO’s specific programme for sub-Saharan destinations, now entering its second
phase.
” The ST-EP initiative for poverty reduction.
” “Windows on Africa”, a strategic alliance with Microsoft, aiming at promoting
African destinations through electronic means.
” Taking the opportunity of the 2010 World Football Cup in South Africa, UNWTO has
liaised with FIFA to enhance the image of Africa as a whole.

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After 1983, the UNWTO Executive Council is meeting for the second time in Algeria.
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