Kigali, Wednesday, August 30, 2017: The COMESA Tourism and Wildlife Heritage Handbook has been officially launched during the 41st World Tourism Conference currently being held in Kigali, Rwanda.
COMESA Business Council (CBC) Chairperson Dr Amany Asfour unveiled the publication with Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Chief Executive Officer Ms Florizelle Liser.
The 62-paged publication titled ‘One Market, Countless Destinations’ is expected to help boost tourism to the region and raise awareness on the unique regional offerings so as to encourage Member States to develop stronger linkages through public private and private-private solutions on attracting more tourists.
It captures delightful collations from the 19 COMESA Member States offering a diversity of flora and fauna, culture, species of animals and birds, historical sites and unforgettable experiences.
“This tourism handbook is a tool to market the region as a single destination that offers sights and sounds that are of quality, affordable and also informative of our cultures and histories of Africa,”
“ It is about culture diversity, richness of our heritage, our tourist attractions, infrastructure development and investment. It covers the Indian ocean islands and countries on the main land. It is about our intra culture integration,” said Dr Asfour just before she launched the handbook at the Radisson Blu Convention Centre Kigali.
She added that tourism is a growth inclusive business which affects all sectors of society. Men, women and youths do not be left out as Africa and COMESA work at growing local tourism.
The CBC Chair urged COMESA governments to pay close consideration to develop local tourism by coming up with affordable products that will increase inbound tourism in the region.
This initiative is also meant to promote cross border linkages and partnerships between various stakeholders in the tourism industry in COMESA and advocate for responsible business practices towards environmental sustainability with regards to tourism in the region.
The handbook is part of the COMESA Sustainable Tourism Development Strategic Framework which has been recognized by Member States as a model to develop national tourism action plans to boost competitiveness of the sector.
It is available online and will be distributed to the Member States.