African countries pledge to rekindle domestic tourism market

Publish Time:2020-09-30 09:47:13Source:China Daily

【Introduction】:Alhaji Mohammed, the minister for information and culture in Nigeria, said the country will leverage tourism in its efforts to take development into the grassroots.

As African countries joined the globe to celebrate World Tourism Day on Sunday, they pledged to rekindle domestic tourism, in addition to coming up with innovative ways to attract tourists, as part of the strategies for recovery in the sector that has been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Themed "Tourism and Rural Development", this year's edition of World Tourism Day celebrated the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage globally.

In South Africa, the event was observed with festivities at Maropeng's Cradle of Humankind in the western corridor of Gauteng province.

The celebrations highlighted the significant role the domestic tourism market will play in reigniting the sector, especially in spearheading tourism in lesser-visited rural communities in the country's nine provinces.

"Today's celebration is a testament that the tourism industry is able to host an event in a safe manner under the current coronavirus pandemic," Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the minister for tourism, said.

"As we navigate a path to recovery, and gradually re-open our borders to safely welcome international visitors, we urge South Africans to travel and explore their country responsibly."

Kubayi-Ngubane expressed confidence that domestic tourism will soon be the main pillar of the tourism sector, judging from the current rate of local tourist visits.

"We are mindful that a significant portion of the supply market is geared for international tourism, so that the pricing is unaffordable for segments of domestic travelers. We are appealing to this market to be innovative and adapt their products for the needs of the local market."

Kubayi-Ngubane said incentives, such as affordable rates, discounts, upgrades and attractive packages, will go a long way to get South Africans to explore their country, giving them a proper sense of belonging.

In Kenya, thousands of citizens crowded the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in the port city of Mombasa for World Tourism Day celebrations, where they were entertained by several leading artists.

As part of the celebrations, Hassan Joho, the governor of Mombasa county, launched a cycling race dubbed "Tour De Mombasa". After flagging off the race, Joho rode with cyclists across the sites of historical monuments in the city and finished at Mama Ngina Waterfront Park.

In his statement on World Tourism Day, Najib Balala, the cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife, urged all stakeholders in the sector to work in solidarity and called for concerted efforts to revive tourism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Balala urged all 47 counties across the country to establish products that will be utilized by local and international tourists, noting tourism is part of development in the rural areas. "We want to create jobs by developing tourism throughout our counties and encouraging domestic tourism," he said.

Balala said his ministry is working with Magical Kenya, the official Kenya destination website run by the Kenya Tourism Board, to showcase the offerings across the country, as well as ensure tourists get memorable experiences.

Alhaji Mohammed, the minister for information and culture in Nigeria, said the country will leverage tourism in its efforts to take development into the grassroots.

This will be achieved by ensuring that local communities own and benefit from the cultural heritage and the tourist attractions in their domain.

"It is globally recognized that tourism empowers rural communities and provides employment, mostly for women and youth. It plays an important role in diversifying the rural economy and its growth, thereby contributing to the sustainability of the population and the economy of the areas," Mohammed said.

Nqobizitha Ndhlovu, the minister for environment, climate, tourism and the hospitality industry in Zimbabwe, said the government is reconstructing Old Bulawayo Village, which was gutted by grassland fire a decade ago.

"We want to promote the area as a tourist destination because it's one of our cultural heritage sites, which we believe has a huge potential because it's near Bulawayo city and also tells a story about the background of the Ndebele natives," he said.

Ndhlovu said the ministry has a clear road map that will see the place come back to life in three months' time.

"We will be thorough in terms of implementation. Each agency has a role to play and timelines to meet, and they will be reporting to us on a two-week basis to make sure we stick to our timelines," he said.

Strategic Partner

E-Mail Login|Contact Us|Careers|Legal disclaimer

世界旅游城市联合会版权所有 备案号:京ICP备19050424号-1

Our legal counselors: lawyer Song Yunfeng & lawyer He Wen, both from Dacheng Law Offices