Eighteen tourism ministers and other officials from around Africa met this week in Ivory Coast to discuss tourism ethics, security and development.
The three-day gathering was an attempt to demonstrate solidarity for Africa as a tourism destination in the wake of terror attacks that have left many travelers wary of visiting the continent.
“Côte d’Ivoire is one of the most evident examples of the great potential of African tourism," United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Taleb Rifaiit said. "It holds impressive natural assets and unique cultural diversity and traditions. Continuing to foster tourism in this part of the world can really make a difference, not only for society as a whole but for the perception of the African continent in the world."
In addition to affirming the safety of tourism in Africa, officials also discussed ways to build sustainability into its tourism development plans and how to use tourism to foster sustainable production and consumption.
Officials also called for greater investment in African tourism as a means of energizing the sector overall.